Fund set up to give great-grandmother who died of coronavirus a 'true send off she deserves'

A fund has been set up by the family of a woman killed by the coronavirus to celebrate her life once the pandemic crisis is over.

Tuesday, 31st March 2020, 2:35 pm
Updated Tuesday, 31st March 2020, 3:12 pm

The 61-year-old, who devoted her career to working as a childminder, was allowed to have her family at her bedside, however this now means husband Brian, 63, and their four children are now in self-isolation under Government guidelines.

While they will be allowed to attend her funeral at Sunderland Crematorium, and people will be welcome to stand outside to listen, they are making plans to give her the farewell she should have had once the outbreak is over.

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Ann Stephenson with her husband of 42 years Brian.

As well as children Melanie Stephenson, 39, Debbie Cragg, 37, Laura Hardy, 33, and Brian Stephenson, 30, she leaves seven grandchildren and a great-grandson.

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More than £800 has been raised so far.

Daughter Laura said: “Our plans are to have a celebration of mam’s life after the lockdown has been lifted so everyone she loved and everyone that loved her can give the true send off this marvellous woman deserves.

Ann Stephenson worked as a childminder for most of her working life.

“We don’t want to ask for help but together, we all have such a bumpy road ahead - time off work for isolation, time to grieve.

“A million things are playing through our heads and to have something to support us would just ease something of that.”

After Ann’s death, Laura posted a plea for people to follow the social distancing rules, sharing her family’s devastating experience of watching their beloved mother die.

She told people via a Facebook post shared more than 1,000 times that she wanted people to put a face the name of the virus.

She added: “This isn't just numbers on the news, its mams, dads, grandparents, sisters, brothers, friends, wives, husbands...Simple rules really STAY AT HOME!!!”

Ann's funeral will be held on Wednesday, April 8, at 1pm.

The donations page can be found via

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