BriarPatch Family Life Education Centre

The BriarPatch Family Life Education Centre was created in 1996 by 2 families in Sherwood Park, Alberta, a hamlet just minutes from Edmonton. The original intent was to offer bereavement support services after both families met while grieving the losses of their precious babies at birth. The program they formed soon turned into a vibrant and active family resource centre, offering programming spanning birth to death.

One of our goals of the BriarPatch is to help families find their strengths during the parenting years, and beyond. The centre will be sharing stories from participants in their programs on our website and on this page for Giving Tuesday. Family and individual stories will tell how the BriarPatch Family Life Centre has impacted their lives and where they are now after accessing the different programs and services. As the staff at the centre believe in the power of both educational and professional support and peer support, they know by sharing these stories, they will help others become motivated to make changes in their own lives, or to reach out to support others. Creating a strong and healthy community is key for all families raising children and youth. Join the BriarPatch Family Life Education Centre to learn more. Thank you for your consideration in making the BriarPatch your charity of choice for Giving Tuesday .... and beyond!

Here's a story one of our families shared with us:

"Our family was referred to the BriarPatch Family Life Education Centre when I was diagnosed with Postpartum Depression. My doctor really wanted me to have a place to talk about my diagnosis and the experience I was having, in a safe and caring environment. I reluctantly phoned the centre and the following day came to my first appointment with the counsellor. The compassion she shared with me and the information and knowledge she had about PPD helped me to overcome the unsettled feelings I had about being a new mother. In addition to the different techniques she taught me to deal with the anxiety and the sleepless nights, soon I was well on my way to feeling normal and energized again. I also got to meet some other mothers who shared the same fears I had. I have some lifelong friends now! In time, as my baby grew, we accessed other programs, including the Baby Signing Classes and eventually our little one was old enough to attend the new preschool the centre offered. I am so grateful to the BriarPatch for answering my call and helping me to see that parenting is a tough journey but with community support, it can be a fun and meaningful time. Thank you BriarPatch!" ~ Amanda

And another one:

"My story started with the loss of my baby, unexpectedly, half way through my pregnancy. Our first two babies were born healthy, so I couldn't understand what I had done wrong. The hospital referred me to the H.E.A.R.T.S. Baby Loss Program at the BriarPatch and I truly feel that it saved my life! Both Cheryl and Shawna were caring and had so much to share. I felt so welcome and finally safe. I was encouraged to tell my story and even name my baby. I wasn't told that I was grieving "wrong" or that my baby was really a baby. I met other parents who all understood my pain and feel so lucky that our community has this amazing program. I don't know where I'd be now without this important resource that I was referred to." ~ Anonymous

On the BriarPatch website, several testimonials are listed from families that have attend programming. Feel free to browse them by visiting

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