TWO leading South Tyneside comedians are backing a campaign to raise awareness of the dangers posed by blind cords sparked by the tragic death of a toddler.
Jason Cook and Chris Ramsey, both stars of TV sitcom Hebburn, offered their help after hearing about the death of two-year-old Sophie Allen.
Sophie suffered catastrophic brain damage after she was found hanging from a blind cord in a bedroom at her Sunderland home.
Her devastated parents, Peter Allen and Danielle Hudson, are campaigning to raise awareness of blind cord safety.
New safety regulations governing the manufacture of blind cords came into force earlier this year, but an inquest into Sophie’s death heard there are still millions of potentially-deadly blinds in family homes across the country.
Jason said: “My daughter is three, and we’ve made sure all the blind cords in our house are safe. It’s something people need to be aware of.”
Chris added: “It’s an absolutely terrible loss, one that must be so hard to take and impossible to ever get over.
“By campaigning for these kinds of blinds to be banned, you may be saving other families from having to go through such a terrible ordeal. You can at least take some comfort in that.”
The pair took to the stage at Heppie’s Social Club in North Hylton Road, Sunderland, recently, raising more than £5,000 for Crawford House, a charity-run home for families of seriously-ill children being cared for at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary.
Sophie was transferred to a specialist children’s unit at the hospital after being rushed there from the family home in Red House.
But despite the best efforts of medics, scans showed there was no activity in the toddler’s brain, and her life-support machine was switched off in the early hours of Saturday, April 26.
Her distraught parents were able to stay at Crawford House, funded by the Sick Children’s Trust.
Jason, hosting Metro Radio’s Night Owls show with fellow comic Steffen Peddie, as cover for Alan Robson for two weeks, said: “It wasn’t a maudlin event.
“It was about raising awareness and having fun.
“I did the gig and went up to do Night Owls, where I’ve been promoting the campaign and will be until we finish on Monday.”
Sophie’s dad Peter, 38, thanked the family’s supporters and praised the work of the trust.
He said: “When something like this happens, you are all over the place. You don’t even think where you are going to stay.
“It is also expensive to stay in the hospital. With food and stuff, we were spending about £20 or £30 a day.”
Donations can be made at www.justgiving.com/Sophie-Allen-little-cheeky-face/.