Angel Children Grief Share Support Group at Kirkby helps parents who have lost their children

Marilyn Foden, founder of the Angel Children charity based in Kirkby, pictured with volunteers, Carolyne Cull, Gemma Barnes and Keane Barnes.

Marilyn Foden, founder of the Angel Children charity based in Kirkby, pictured with volunteers, Carolyne Cull, Gemma Barnes and Keane Barnes.

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AFTER Marilyn Foden lost her 18-year-old son Ryan to brain cancer in 2009, she decided to do something positive to help other parents who had gone through a bereavement.

She was devastated by her loss, but later she decided to set up Angel Children Grief Share Support Group, which is now based in Kirkby.

“I was sat by myself one day and I thought that I would like to speak to other bereaved parents,” says Marilyn.

“So I put a small advert in a shop window and people contacted me. My first meeting took place in McDonald’s over a coffee.”

Angel Children provides emotional support for parents.

“If they need me at the hospital I go - it doesn’t matter if it’s the middle of the night,” she says.

To raise money, Marilyn has a charity shop on Lowmoor Road and she also organises tombolas and collections. Her next project is asking children and community groups to design an angel each and these will be put on display at Christmas.

Some of the money raised is also used to enable parents to buy a headstone for their child.

The charity is well supported by Marilyn’s family including her daughter Gemma Barnes, son-in-law Damian Barnes and grandchildren Keane (five) and Reece (11) - who even donated his guitar.

“They always donate their old toys,” added Marilyn.

Angel Children Grief Share Support Group was set up by Marilyn two years ago and was based in Sutton for the first year. It moved to its current premises in Kirkby a year ago.

The not-for-profit organisation helps parents who have lost a child up to the age of 25.

Angel Children is always looking for donations of clothes, bric-a-brac, DVDs, toys, rags, furniture and more.

For more details on the project, including how to donate, visit www.angelchildren.co.uk, search for it on Facebook or call into the shop at 103, Lowmoor Road.