Child bereavement charity awarded £9.5k

A Liverpool charity that supports bereaved families who have lost a child will be able to continue their counselling service after securing emergency funding.

Love, Jasmine was set up in 2016 by the parents of six-year-old Jasmine Lapsley, who died in 2014 during a family holiday to Wales after choking on a grape.

The charity raises 75 per cent of its own running costs but Covid-19 left it facing a financial blackhole after forcing them to cancel their fundraising events.

Dad Rob Lapsley said: “We would have been unable to have paid our sessional counsellors after this week had the Steve Morgan Foundation not stepped in with £9,500 to get us through the next three months. It will also fund our therapeutic co-ordinator, who manages our counselling service.

“We’d been searching around for funding without success when we saw the story about Steve Morgan giving an extra £1m a week to local charities during the first 12 weeks of coronavirus and we applied. It’s amazing.”

Rob, who also has three sons, said coronavirus will hit the most vulnerable the hardest.

“Last year 120 individuals accessed our counselling services,” he said. “At the moment we’re seeing between 35-40 people for counselling.

“When coronavirus hit all our counsellors worked from home and did sessions on the phone or through video-conferencing to avoid face-to-face contact.

“Coronavirus increases people’s anxiety and a lot of the people we work with fear the worst because they’ve already experienced the worst thing that can happen to them and that’s losing a child.

“For us not to have been able to carry on with our counselling would have been heart-breaking.

“The Government have announced financial help for businesses and the self-employed but what about the charities?”

Rob and his wife Kathy launched Love, Jasmine after experiencing first-hand what support services were and were not available to families who have lost a child.

Since then they’ve offered emotional, practical self-care and respite care to hundreds of bereaved families in the Merseyside area.

Steve Morgan, of the Steve Morgan Foundation, said: “As a father myself I can’t imagine a worse experience than the one that Rob and Kathy went through but they’ve done amazing work with Love, Jasmine. It’s vital that work continues during the coronavirus outbreak and that’s why the Foundation was delighted to step in.”

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