The Charlie Cookson Foundation: A support charity which has changed the lives of families struggling with illness

Chris and Sarah Cookson at The Charlie Cookson Foundation shop
Chris and Sarah Cookson at The Charlie Cookson Foundation shop

A couple who set up a charity and devoted their time to supporting families with seriously-ill children after losing their son are facing further heartache.

South Shields couple Sarah and Chris Cookson have devoted their time to help support families with children who are seriously ill or have life-limiting conditions.

Chris, Charlie and Sarah Cookson

Chris, Charlie and Sarah Cookson

Now they are facing new heartache after they discovered their newborn baby Carter has serious heart problems.

Sarah and Chris set up The Charlie Cookson Foundation in honour of the son Charlie who died aged two in October 2013.

The charity has supported more tan 50 families of seriously-ill children across the country by providing help towards the financial burden of essential nursing facilities, bills, rent and other money difficulties that arise from full-time care.

They now have a shop in South Shields town centre.

Speaking to the Gazette in August, Sarah said: "We’ve now supported 53 families with £3,000 each, and we’ve seen the foundation grow from our breakfast bar table to now have a shop in South Shields town centre and one down at the community centre."

The charity has also been named as a beneficiary of Your Charity Lottery - a national fundraising initiative.

Charlie Cookson received regular hospital treatment for muscle and bone problems before also suffering from a blood disorder.

In early 2012, scans also revealed that Charlie had epilepsy. He was later awarded the South Tyneside Child of Courage Award in April 2013, before passing away on October 29, 2013.