Our History

Living Life Staff with President Mary Mc Aleese

Chris Goodman, President McAleese, Heather Brown

In September 1996 Sr. Christina Goodman, Rev. Stewart Morris, and Mrs Heather Brown founded Living Life Voluntary Counselling Centre in Bray. A premises was provided by the Methodist Church and a steady stream of local men and women began to receive counselling from professionals who offered their services on a voluntary basis. In 2001, a new centre was opened in Dun Laoghaire to cater for the growing demand for low-cost counselling in the region.

The possibility of joining the FAS-sponsored Social Economy Programme was proposed to the Board of Living Life in early 2002. Incorporation as a separate legal entity (in this case a company limited by guarantee) was a prerequisite of receiving funding through this programme and this took place in May 2002. The Living Life Voluntary Counselling Centre Limited began a new life as a Social Economy Enterprise with effect from the 26th of August 2002. Charitable status was granted in February 2004 (No. CHY15284).

In September 2006 Living Life celebrated its tenth anniversary. In view of the major contribution that the Centre had made, and the deep roots that it had established in Bray and its environs, a ceremony was held involving a combination of reflection, prayer, poetry, and music delivered by guest performers.

The Centre invited President Mary McAleese to join the celebrations as guest of honour, an invitation which to our delight she accepted. Other guests were drawn from the community, referring organisations, local politicians, funders and, of course, staff and volunteers. As the ceremony concluded, the President, on behalf of the Centre, made a presentation to the three founders of the service, in recognition of their vision and dedication, and the work they had carried out, with limited resources, to improve the lives of many people whose distress might otherwise not have been addressed.

Please click here to see the photographs taken on the day

Over time Living Life became aware of the lack of counselling services in the Arklow area. Consequently when an opportunity became available to open a small service in the town the Centre did not hesitate, commencing a small satellite service there in the spring of 2004.
In 2010 due to deteriorating economic conditions, Living Life could no longer continue to support the Dun Laoghaire operation and it closed its doors on the 30th April transferring its services to Bray.