A FOOTBALL tournament featuring some of the borough’s top teams is aiming to kickstart a £30,000 fundraising bid to set up a children and young people’s bereavement support service in South Tyneside.
The tournament, this weekend, is being sponsored by driver training company Tyne and Wear LGV, and is part of a campaign by grieving families to enable Cruse Bereavement Care Tyneside to set up the specialist support service.
The charity was chosen to benefit from the annual tournament after organisers heard about a group called Cruse Crew, made up of families who have suffered a bereavement, coming together to raise the funds needed for the new service. They had to travel outside the borough to get bereavement support for their children and don’t want other families to be in the same position.
The matches have three of South Tyneside’s non-league teams taking part. Jarrow Roofing, Hebburn Town and Hebburn Reyrolle are among six teams that have entered the competition, along with Sunderland RCA, Sunderland West End and Seaham Red Star.
It kicks off at Hebburn Sports and Social Club tomorrow, with games also being played on Monday and Wednesday.
The tournament, organised by Mark Collingwood, will finish with matches and a fun day on Saturday, July 19.
Emma Robertson, who sought the support of Cruse for her three children, Caitlin, Ben and Joe, after their dad Gary died two years ago, is one of the group hoping to raise the £30,000.
She said: “Mark is a really good friend of mine and I can’t thank him enough for doing what he is doing. It means so much that he is helping with our fundraising with his tournament and highlight what we are trying to do.”
To help start the fundraising drive LGV, based in Felling, Gateshead, has handed over £50. Owner Terry Smith said: “This is a worthwhile cause and we are pleased the tournament is getting behind the charity and only too happy to help to start the ball rolling for fundraising.”
Mr Collingwood said: “Every year we donate the money we raise to a charity, and this year we have chosen Cruse Bereavement Care. I know the struggle Emma had finding support for her children, so when she mentioned what she was doing along with other families, we thought it was a worthwhile cause to support.”
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