A trust fund created as a lasting legacy to South Tyneside sweethearts Chloe Rutherford and Liam Curry has raised £225,000 in its first year to help young performers and sportspeople follow their dreams.
It has been just over a year since Mark and Lisa Rutherford and Caroline Curry came together as one to launch the Chloe and Liam Together Forever Trust.
The couple’s heartbroken families had wanted to create something postive in their names in recognition of the kind of people they were - two selfless youngsters who were very much in love and whose kindness, caring nature and zest for life knew no bounds - after their lives were cut short in the Manchester Arena bomb attack, last May.
They also wanted to honour both their children’s passions - Chloe’s love of performance and Liam’s dedication to cricket.
Since then, the Trust has gone on to help dozens of young performers and sportspeople on the road to following their dreams through a bursary scheme, thanks to the fundraising efforts of the people of South Tyneside.
Earlier this year, it also achieved charitable status.
It’s strange when you are walking down the street and you see a stranger with your child’s face on their chest, but it also makes you feel very proud, that they are our bairns.”Caroline Curry
Liam’s mam Caroline said: “We never imagined we’d raise what we have when we started all of this. If we’d got to the end of the first year and raised £100,000 that would have been amazing but we have given away almost £100,000 in bursaries to date.”
Chloe’s mam Lisa said: “For me, we have achieved what we set out to do, and that was to build a lasting legacy. We just have to build on that and to keep it going.”
Caroline added: “Everyone thinks their children are special. The outpouring of love and support we have received, has just validated that it’s not just us who thought that of our children, but others too. They have been taken to people’s hearts.
“It’s strange when you walk down the street and you see a stranger with your child’s face on their chest, but it also makes you feel very proud.”
Lisa added: “We have received so much support, we do sit here at times and worry about the day people stop supporting us, but people are still coming forward and wanting to do things for the Trust, it really is very humbling.
Among those supported by the Trust is table tennis player Tom Jarvis, who was supported with his training to help him qualify for the Olympics, Katie Reed who is heading off to Mountview to study performance, Hugo Haggerty with his ski training, Ellie Hutton with her Judo training, Dillon Crow with archery equipment and Jay Jobarteh with fees to a performing arts school.
A statement released on the Trust’s Facebook Page, read: “It has been just over a year since we set up the Chloe & Liam Together Forever Trust and in that year you have done some amazing things. You have helped us to see the positives, continued to support each event we’ve held and made sure the money was there to help so many of our young people.
“The trust is going from strength to strength thanks to the help and generosity of each and every one of you amazing people.
“Thank you so, so much. It means the absolute world to us to have all this love and support.”