£40,000 boost for Charlie Cookson Foundation means charity can open a shop

Chris and Sarah Cookson, founders of the Charlie Cookson Foundation with Gary Armstrong, centre, from Primula Cheese, which has given them �40,000 to help open their first charity shop in South Shields.
Chris and Sarah Cookson, founders of the Charlie Cookson Foundation with Gary Armstrong, centre, from Primula Cheese, which has given them �40,000 to help open their first charity shop in South Shields.

A couple’s dream of opening a charity shop in memory of their beloved late son is coming true thanks to a surprise donation.

Chris and Sarah Cookson, who founded the Charlie Cookson Foundation, after their young son died after battling a mystery illness, were handed £40,000 by North East company Primula Cheese.

Chris and Sarah Cookson with the �40,000 cheque.

Chris and Sarah Cookson with the �40,000 cheque.

The donation will make it possible for the couple to set up their first charity shop in South Shields.

Sarah and Chris were handed the donation after heading to Primula’s Gateshead factory, for a meeting yesterday.

Sarah said: “Having to say no to families at Christmas was one of the hardest things but now we’ve received this generous donation from Primula we can open our shop which will generate money so we can say yes to more families in the future.

“We would like to thank the Primula team for their generosity which will reach many families. We’re the only charity that supports parents who have children with life limiting conditions and need 24 hour care. We know from personal experience that these families face financial challenges many are unaware of.”

Having to say no to families at Christmas was one of the hardest things but now we’ve received this generous donation from Primula we can open our shop which will generate money so we can say yes to more families in the future.

Sarah Cookson

The charity was set up after little Charlie passed away in October 2013, aged just two-and-a-half, after fighting an undiagnosed condition almost his entire life. It offers financial support to families with seriously-ill children.

Paul Lewney, managing director of Kavli UK, the company behind Primula Cheese, said: “We’re delighted to be giving this extremely valuable and unique charity the chance to grow, and we hope this early Christmas gift will keep giving to the families who need it most.”

Charlie Cookson.

Charlie Cookson.