FAMILIES on a fundraising mission for a bereavement charity have almost sailed to their £30,000 target – in just four months.
The Cruse Crew launched in August with the aim of reaching the magic figure by August 2015 for Cruse Bereavement Care Tyneside.
The cash will enable the charity to bring its children’s and young people’s bereavement support service to a base in South Tyneside.
However, with less than £3,000 to go before hitting the £30,000 target, the group is celebrating the news that volunteers at the charity, based in High Heaton, Newcastle, are preparing to launch their search for premises this month – a lot sooner than expected.
It is news which has left the group – made up of parents who have seen the devastating effects a bereavement has had on their children – overwhelmed.
The Cruse Crew was launched after parents Davy Carr and Emma Robertson struggled to find bereavement support for their young children following the death of their respective partners.
Joanne Carr died aged 41 after a donor liver failed to be found in time and Gary Robertson lost his fight for life, aged 39, after suffering a brain aneurism.
They eventually found support for their children from Cruse Bereavement Care Tyneside, but had to travel to Newcastle to access it.
They are joined in the Cruse Crew by Jean Costello, whose son Stephen Heslop, 22, died on Boxing Day in 2007, Alfie Leggett and Susan Clarkson, whose son Jack, nine, died of a brain tumour two days before Christmas 2013, and Laura Nisbet, whose father to her children Karl Carson, 26, died in July.
The families are being supported by friends Joyce Auty, Alana Vickers, Paul and Mandy Kirton, Rachel Little, former Mayor and Mayoress of South Tyneside Coun Ernest Gibson and Patricia Ridley and Lisa Nightingale.
Jean said: “I still can’t believe how much we have raised in such a short space of time – it’s just fantastic. It just seems as if the people of South Tyneside have really taken the Cruse Crew to their hearts.
“And to know the charity is now looking for premises to run the service from – it’s just amazing.
“But for me, it hasn’t just been about the money, it’s about seeing the personal journeys we have all taken and how far we have all come together.
“Christmas has always been a time of year I have dreaded after losing Stephen on Boxing Day, but this year, with the help and support of the Cruse Crew, I have had so many positive things to look forward to this year.”
The Cruse Crew have further fundraising events planned throughout 2015 to help it hit the £30,000 fundraising goal.