Party in the park as Charlie's fund joins in the Queen's birthday celebrations.

Charlie Cookson, whose memory lives on through the charity set up in his name.
Charlie Cookson, whose memory lives on through the charity set up in his name.

A charity launched in memory of a youngster is inviting everyone to a right royal knees up today.

The Charlie Cookson Foundation is hosting the celebration in Greenside Drift, in Westoe Crown Village, South Shields, from 1pm until around 3pm.

Everyone is welcome, with face painting, bouncy castle, music and special guests planned.

The event will raise for the foundation, which financially supports families of terminally ill children.

The charity was set up in 2013 after two-year-old Charlie, who had a series of life-limiting illnesses.

The party, to help mark the Queen's 90th birthday, is free, but organisers are confident that the money raised from donations, raffles, tombolas, competitions and other activities will show just how generous and caring the people of South Shields are.

Snacks provided by Minchella’s and Tesco Express Westoe Crown will be sold at the party and local businesses such as Ladybird Face Painting and Bounce North East are also supporting the event.

The People’s Mission Junior Brass Band and DJ Danny Kyle, will provide the music, while South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck will welcome party goers by officially opening the event.

Fundraiser and party organiser Angela Hamilton said:“When I was younger we always celebrated events like the Silver Jubilee with a street party and I thought it was time to revive the tradition, have some fun and do something that could make a real difference at the same time.

"I wasn’t sure if anyone would be interested or not but everyone I’ve spoken to thinks it’s a great idea.

"And, of course, the Charlie Cookson Foundation is fantastic charity and I hope we raise lots of money for them on the day.”

Mrs Lewell-Buck said: “I am always proud to open great community events in Shields, but I am particularly proud to open this event.

"Sarah and Chris Cookson are an inspiration and it must have been devastating when they lost their amazing little boy.

"But instead of giving up they have made sure Charlie’s fighting spirit lives on by supporting other families with seriously ill children.

"I know Sarah and Chris were very proud of Charlie and I’m sure that he is just as proud of them and the work they do in his name.”

Sarah added: “We are thrilled that Angela has arranged this amazing event to help raise vital funds for CCF.

"There are so many families in need of our financial support, these parents live a life of such worry and heartache, like we did.

"To be able to relieve them of their financial worries for a period of three months is life changing for them.

"It allows them to make precious memories with their sick child without that dark cloud of money worries hanging over them.

"One or both parents are unable to work due to the 24/7 care their child needs, this has a huge impact on their finances.

"The extra cost of fuel due to hospital admissions, the added cost of electricity for the life support machinery.

"I am just touching the sides, the list is endless.

"We love these events as we know our angel Charlie would have loved them too, and I am sure he will be watching over you all, all day.

"Huge heartfelt thank you to Angela for her support and to Emma for her very kind words.

"We hope the lovely people of South Tyneside come along to this event, raise much needed funds whilst having lots of fun.

"Thank you all again helping is change the lives of many inspirational families.”