Megan’s family sets up charity

Fraser, Jane and Oliver Brooks
Fraser, Jane and Oliver Brooks

THE FAMILY of a teenage girl who died unexpectedly earlier this year has set up a charity to help other bereaved parents of young people.

Fraser and Jane Brooks and their son Ollie (pictured) have formed a charity called You Raise Me Up in memory of Megan who died just days before her 18th birthday in May.

The popular teenager had been working at Eastbourne Rugby Club when she collapsed. She was an avid Westlife fan and Fraser and Jane chose one of the Irish boy band’s hits as the name for the charity which will raise money to support families that have suffered the loss of a teenage child.

The couple say when they lost Megan, they found themselves in desperate need of comfort from those that had experienced the same loss and to see how they had coped and got through such a terrible time.

Jane said, “The aim is to be able to provide compassion, support and simply to be able to say ‘we totally understand’ rather than ‘we cannot imagine what you are going through’.

“The feeling when losing Megan was one of total disbelief and a helplessness that as a mother there was nothing I could do, no knees to kiss and make better, no cuddles to make everything right. All I had was nothingness and that’s one of the things that as a mother is impossible to feel, the feeling of not being able to do anything.

“We know Meggie would not want us to sit and cry night after night, but that’s exactly what we did and often do. We miss her so much but now we must try to help others that may find themselves in the same pit of despair, just as Megan would have done and would have wanted us to do.”

Fraser, chairman of Eastbourne Rugby Club, said the charity would also help parents financially.

“No parent should ever have to consider putting a few pounds away each month in case they should lose a child - a holiday maybe, but not for this.

“The cost of Megan’s service came to approximately £6,000, a sum of money neither Jane or I had anything close too.

“Parents and friends helped out but it was then it dawned on Jane and I, that there were three things we desperately needed: one, we wanted Megan back: two, the desperate need to see someone who had been through what we were going through; and three, the real yet sad fact that for a child of a certain age there is no financial help to deal with those things that need to be dealt with, things we take for granted – like shopping, even to the point of who pays the mortgage should they be self-employed and not able to face work for many, many weeks to come.

“And so in honour of our simply wonderful daughter Meg, You Raise Me Up was formed, to help with what some might say are the little things, yet in truth, at the time are massive.”

Already two fundraisers have been planned, a charity golf day at Willingdon Golf Club on Friday August 5 and Ollie is doing a 110 sponsored cycle ride along the South Downs Way on Saturday August 13.

Anyone wishing to donate to either should send cheques to 31 St Annes Road, Lower Willingdon, Eastbourne.