Today is a very special letter for me as it is the first charity I ever actively took an interest in helping, don’t get me wrong have done the whole couple of quid via direct debit bit before but this was the first charity I went out of my way to attend fundraisers for and right now am selling raffle tickets for.
Some of you may have read a little about the charity here when I attended the Comedy Evening last year. I am not going t go into too much detail about what happened to them here partly as I have asked Neil – Joseph’s dad – a couple of questions and secondly as I think it deserves so much more than just a quick post here.
Okay so here are the couple of brief questions I asked Neil…
Your charity is a little different to most in that rather than offering support it offers actual financial help to those who have lost children, what made you decide to take that route?
After Joseph died, we spoke to other people who had also lost a child and it became clear that whilst there were several charities for emotional support, there wasn’t anything for the financial side of things. In particular, funerals and headstones which are a considerable cost for which, as parents, we don’t plan for.
When a child dies many of us – me included – automatically empathise more with the mother in most cases, do you feel dads are expected to handle grief better?
I think we all, male or female, handle grief in different ways although many Dads will feel reluctant to show emotion and will try to be “the strong one.”
What fund-raising events are you most looking forward to this year? Will there be another comedy evening?
We have a busy year of fund-raising ahead including another Curry Night at the Shama and a Casino Night at the Woodman, Thunderbridge. All the details of our upcoming events are here –
Now you guys know that I have been nagging you for signatures on Charlie’s Petition but now I have a bigger favour to ask…
I simply ask that if you can spare a pound or a dollar you help raise a little money not only because this is an amazing charity but also to help some personal friends of mine help a charity which was there for them in their darkest hour. Allow me to introduce you to Harley..
Sorry if that seemed a cruel trick to play but it was that sort of cruelty that fate played upon one of my best friends Debbie, you see Harley was her first grandchild, his existence was discovered shortly after she lost her mum to cancer and was the shining star that gave the whole family something positive to focus on in a time of pain. Debbie’s daughter had an fairly easy pregnancy nothing to concern anyone, forty weeks came and went and Harley was in no rush it seemed to leave the safety of mummys tummy, everything was normal no need for concern.
Ten a couple of days before she was due to be induced, the post went up on Facebook that labour had started, Debbie was so excited at the prospect of meeting her grandson for the first time, and I sent her a message and headed off to work expecting to return to photo’s of a beaming family.
Instead I returned to silence, no returns to questions on her wall asking about progress, no pictures, then I saw the inbox message and it was heartbreaking. Not only had my friend lost her grandchild but she had had to hold her daughter in her arms while a pain tore through her that she could not fix. Harvey never took a breath or opened his eyes but no child was ever so loved as he was.
Everyone knows how expensive new babies are, they take ever penny preparing for their arrival, not only did the family have to face the shattering of their dreams but also now worry about how to give their angel a decent send off, and that is where Joseph Salmon’s legacy steps in and embraces not only the grieving parents but their whole family. They understand not only the pain but the practicalities, they are the charity you never want anyone to need but are eternally thankful for if you know a family they help.
Harvey’s dad Blair is running the Manchester 10k Raising money for the Trust if you can give anything please please I beg you do so, help the Joseph Salmon Trust help more families whose nightmares have come true.