A SOUTH Tyneside teenager is doing his best to follow in his charitable grandmother’s footsteps.
Louis Armstrong, of Frost Mews, South Shields, has set up his own charity to care for others.
The Louis Armstrong Foundation aims to help families and individuals who are in need both psychologically and financially after losing a loved one. The 19-year-old, who works as a model, was inspired to start the charity after he lost his beloved grandmother, June, in July last year.
The 65-year-old died from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and heart failure.
Louis, a former pupil at South Shields Community School, said: “I myself have been through bereavement and depression and wouldn’t want anyone to go through it alone.
“My gran was going to start her own charity after fundraising for cystic fibrosis back in 2012, but when she started to feel really ill, she wasn’t able to do it. When she died, it really tore my heart out and I vowed to keep her spirit alive. She was a fighter and a passionate charity worker and a kind and caring person.
“The foundation is going to offer care and respite funding for young carers, and bereavement and depression counselling.
“Me and my grandma were really close, she was my best friend, and when she died, I really was in a bad place.
“I didn’t feel like I could talk to any of my family members about the way I was feeling because they were hurting as well and I didn’t want them to worry about me. Now that I’m back on my feet, I’ve realised there are a lot of people out there going through something similar and I want to help them.”
He added: “I want my foundation to be there to support people when they are going through a tough time, and I think my gran would be over the moon.
“She always told me to make something of myself and make a name for myself so she’d be proud of what I’m doing to help other people.”
Louis is also in talks about creating a fly-on-the-wall documentary about his charity.
The teenager has also been nominated in the Family Heroes Awards, which are run by national charity, 4Children.
To find out more about his work, go to www.facebook.com/louisarmstrongfoundation or follow him on Twitter @lafoundation1