Personal loss gives strength to help others
A WOMAN who set up a charity to support parents who have lost a child has been nominated for a Western Gazette Pride Award.
Carol Crane, 63, said she felt "humbled" to be nominated as a Local Hero for setting up the Rosie Crane Trust in memory of her daughter who died aged 23 of leukaemia in 2004.
She has been nominated by her friend Lindsay Cox, 59, of Park Avenue, Ilminster, who turned to Carol for support when her son died in a road accident three years ago.
"The trust is a lifeline really," said Lindsay.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
"I think I speak for all the people who use it when I say that. It's hard to explain how much this charity means to the people who use the services.
"Carol is a remarkable lady. After my son died, she would come to my house and we would just talk. She was always just down the road."
The Rosie Crane Trust provides monthly drop-in centres and a 24-hour phone service manned by trained volunteers, who have also been bereaved, for parents who have lost a child.
Carol, of Shave Lane, Horton, said she was surprised to have been nominated by her friend, who she met through work 24-years ago.
"You feel quite humbled when someone does that," she said.
"When she told me I was surprised, and a little embarrassed.
"It's nice to know that you are helpful to other people. Having been through such a traumatic experience, it's nice to do something useful for other people going through the same thing."
Lindsay, who is a support worker for MENCAP and has now been trained as a volunteer for the trust's Listening Ear telephone line, said she was lucky to have her family's support when her son Sam died aged 31.
"But it's still important to be able to go somewhere like that and speak to others.
"As much as you might have family, it's nice to talk to someone who can empathise with you," she said.
She has lived in the area for 40 years and has a daughter, Jayne Windsor, 31, who also lives in the area.
She said: "My daughter was a school friend of Carol's daughter, Rosie. When Rosie died, we supported her and the charity, but never for one moment did I think that I would need to use it myself."
After her daughter's death, Carol, who has three other grown-up children and nine grandchildren, set up a support group after realising the importance of being with others when she met up with two other parents who had lost children.
She said: "We met up and found it was a great relief and help to talk about what had happened, our thoughts, memories and concerns."
She launched the trust in 2006 at a party in memory of Rosie and in 2012 the trust raised over £6,000.
Lindsay said she "couldn't put into words" what Carol and the trust have done for her.
She said: "She is a remarkable lady, just the kindest of women to have done all of this, to have set it all up. Words are not enough to say thank you. I don't think she realises how much she has done for people."
The Rosie Crane Trust holds regular coffee mornings and fundraising events.
Carol said: "We also hold drop-in sessions on some Saturdays where bereaved parents can meet informally and talk to others who have similar experiences to them in a safe, confidential environment."
A drop-in session in South Street, Yeovil, is held on the third Saturday of the month, and another centre holds sessions in Taunton on the first Saturday of the month.
TV personality Valerie Singleton will host the Western Gazette Pride Awards ceremony in Tithe Barn at Haselbury Mill, near Crewkerne, in April.
To nominate your heroes visit www.thisissomerset.co.uk/prideawards.
For more information about the Rosie Crane Trust, visit www.rosiecranetrust.org