The generosity of Durham Freemasons has helped families on a £30,000 fundraising mission
Representatives from the Cruse Crew, based in South Tyneside, were invited to the Masonic Hall in Grange Road, Jarrow, where they were met by the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, John Watts and representatives from both Jarrow and Hebburn Masonic Halls.
The group, made up of families from South Tyneside who have recently suffered bereavement, was launched after parents, Davy Carr and Emma Robertson, both struggled to find support for their young children in the borough following the deaths of their respective partners.
They were eventually helped by Cruse Bereavement Care Tyneside, based in High Heaton, Newcastle.
Now, along with the help of other families and friends, they are hoping to raise £30,000 to bring the charity's children and young people's bereavement support service to South Tyneside to enable it to be more accessible to those who need it. This is because they fear that some families, who don't or cannot drive for whatever reason, could struggle to access the vital support service. The money will fund the service for at least three years from a base in South Tyneside.
The Cruse Crew was launched on August 4th and had already raised more than £18,000 through various events. But, thanks to the generosity of the Freemasons, they are well on their way towards reaching their fundraising target, with 6-months to go, following the presentation to the Cruse Crew of a cheque for £1,000, from the Durham Masonic Benevolent Fund.
However, the generosity didn't stop there, as they were also handed two cheques for £250, one from Mark Livingstone, on behalf of the Jarrow Masonic Benevolent Association and the other from Frank Charlton, Secretary of the William Gillhespy Masonic Centre in Hebburn.
Davy and Emma are joined in the Cruse Crew by parents, Jean Costello, Alfie Leggett, Susan Clarkson and Laura Nisbet, who have also suffered the pain of losing a loved one in recent years and seen the effect it has had on their children.
The group includes family friends, Paul and Mandy Kirton, Rachel Little and Alana Vickers, former Mayor and Mayoress of South Tyneside Coun Ernest Gibson and Patricia Ridley, Lisa Nightingale and Joyce Auty. Speaking on behalf of The Cruse Crew, Lisa Nightingale said: 'The generosity shown by the Freemasons to our cause is truly overwhelming. I am absolutely honoured to be working alongside such inspirational people to enable a vital support service for children and young people suffering the loss of a loved one to be based here in South Tyneside. These kind donations mean such a lot to the families involved and helps us immensely, as we aim to reach our £30,000 target. So, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you.'
Cruse Bereavement Care is a national charity, with branches throughout the country, offering a range of bereavement support to those who need it. Cruse Bereavement Care Tyneside has provided support to grieving adults in South Tyneside for 16 years and is now, with the help of the Cruse Crew, working to extend that support to children and young people in the borough.
The funding would enable Cruse Tyneside to:
• Offer free one-to-one support
• Train accredited bereavement volunteers to meet demand
• Provide support on premises in South Tyneside
• Establish a permanent and consistent service in South Tyneside