GENEROUS relatives, friends and strangers have rallied round to help a bereaved mother buy a headstone for her baby boy’s grave, three years after his death.
Last month, the family of five-month-old Charlee Cameron Clark, from Gainford, in County Durham, launched an online fundraising campaign to help his mother, Natalie Holmes, raise the £1,200 she needed to install the permanent memorial to her son.
Ms Holmes and her family wanted to make Charlee’s grave a special, tranquil place for his loved ones to visit and remember him, at the cemetery, in Gainford, where he is buried.
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Following the infant’s death from head injuries, in March 2011, Charlee’s father was convicted of his manslaughter.
The fundraising deadline was Wednesday, June 11, but they surpassed their £1,200 target last week, when donations reached £1,260 with almost two weeks to spare.
His aunty, Jessica Stephenson, who led the online campaign on Just Giving’s Yimby website, expressed gratitude on behalf of Charlee’s closest family members to everyone who donated and shared their plight on social media networks.
Ms Stephenson said they had received sponsors from relatives, friends, members of the local community and complete strangers.
She said: “The amount of support we have had is amazing.
“We can’t believe how kind people have been.
“Someone who had just received a PPI payout gave us £200 from that.
“Natalie is over the moon and has cried tears of joy.
“Words can’t describe what this means to her.
“This is something she never thought she would be able to do.”
Ms Stephenson said the Co-operative Funeralcare company, which organised Charlee’s funeral and from whom the headstone will be purchased, was also offering invaluable support to the family.
She added: “We are so grateful for what we have got.
“It will be a lovely headstone for Charlee.”
The fundraising page will remain open for donations until its original expiry date of Wednesday, June 11.
Any extra money raised will still go towards buying the head stone.
It is hoped the memorial will be installed within two months of the fundraising being completed.
To donate, visit justgiving.com/yimby/ourangelcharlee.