ONE family’s tragic loss has inspired a tight knit community to raise thousands of pounds for charity.

Last year Gary and Lisa Bowes, of Trimdon Colliery, near Sedgefield, County Durham, were heartbroken when their daughter, Darcie Jane, was stillborn.

On Sunday June 16, two days before what would have been Darcie’s first birthday, villagers held a charity day, raised £4,655 for 4Louis which creates memory boxes for families who have lost a baby.

Mr Bowes said: “It is hard to put into words how devastated we were, to plan our baby’s arrival for nine months then lose her was horrible.

“4Louis was a big help, a memory box doesn’t bring baby back but helps you gradually come to terms with that.

“To go home from hospital with nothing, when you should have a baby, is horrific so to have a few things to prove the baby was born is nice.

“She will never be forgotten and this event will happen every year to keep getting something positive from such a tragedy.

“It was marvellous, the way people came together has been a great comfort to us and it is so nice to help 4Louis and other families.”

Bob and Tracey McGurrell from 4Louis said the money would be used to create memory boxes and provide at least one cuddle cot- a specialist device that preserves a baby’s body so parents can have more time to grieve- in a North East hospital.