A HORTON mum who set up a charity to help bereaved parents after her daughter lost a battle with leukaemia is marking the group’s 10-year anniversary.
Carol Crane launched The Rosie Crane Trust on October 31, 2006, with the help of her local community, family and friends.
Her work has earned her a number of awards, including a Mary Stott Award in 2014.
She said: “Generally, people find it really useful to talk to someone else who has lost a son or daughter, to share how they think and feel and how it affects their life.
“We don’t say child anymore because age doesn’t make the grief any easier. No parent expects to outlive their children and you can be 80 and still grieve the loss of a 60-year-old.
“We know we are reaching more people now because we are registered on NHS sites and with our own website.
“We work closely with Towards Tomorrow Together, which supports the parents of still birth, SIDS and miscarriage and with the Jemima Layzell Trust, which supports young people with brain injury.
“People told me it was going to be hard setting up a charity and it is hard but then it is a lifelong commitment for me. I’d always intended to do something to give back to society and this is close to my heart.”
Based from her home near Ilminster, the charity runs a 24-hour listening ear helpline manned by specially trained bereaved parents able to empathise and offer referrals to other organisations and professionals.
The trust also offers a befriending service and a regular call-back option. They also supply funding for subsidised counselling to those bereaved parents struggling financially and hold two monthly drop-in centres established in Yeovil and Taunton.
Mrs Crane added: “Personally, I find birthdays a lot harder as it highlights how old Rosie would have been and the expectations for the future which have now gone.
“Over the last 10 years, I have had a core of six trustees which have changed from time to time but I have always ensured there was at least one other bereaved parent on the board to sound ideas against.
"I am incredibly grateful to all my trustees, past and present, and the band of volunteers who are invaluable to the Trust. We have also been so fortunate in receiving support, not just from individuals but businesses.”
For more information, Visit www.rosiecranetrust.org.