Kay Smith Fund gives whopping £15k boost to Hartlepool hospice

Michael Sumpter pours milk for (left to right) Jan Grocott (hartlepool and district hospice), Tracey Cafferty (sister of Kay Smith) and Angela Connor (Kay Smith bereavement councillor)
Michael Sumpter pours milk for (left to right) Jan Grocott (hartlepool and district hospice), Tracey Cafferty (sister of Kay Smith) and Angela Connor (Kay Smith bereavement councillor)

A TRUST fund set up in memory of a popular Hartlepool woman has given a massive £15,000 boost to a hospice.

More than 100 children have already benefited from the help of a specialist bereavement counsellor based at Hartlepool & District Hospice, in Wells Avenue, thanks to the Kay Smith Fund.

Michael Sumpter pours milk for (left to right) Jan Grocott (hartlepool and district hospice), Tracey Cafferty (sister of Kay Smith) and Angela Connor (Kay Smith bereavement councillor)

Michael Sumpter pours milk for (left to right) Jan Grocott (hartlepool and district hospice), Tracey Cafferty (sister of Kay Smith) and Angela Connor (Kay Smith bereavement councillor)

And thanks to the fund, that work can continue.

The fund was formed as a tribute to the life of local woman, Kay Smith, who died from cancer in January 2006, aged 37. It had been keen supporters of the hospice for five years before they announced, at the start of 2012, their five year plan to support the counsellor post.

Kay Smith Fund trustee Mick Sumpter said: “It’s been another fantastic year and once again we’ve been able to fulfil our yearly pledge of £15,000. The members of the fund are immensely grateful to all those who have helped to make this possible.

“The Kay Smith counsellor and team are making a huge difference to the lives of children and young people who are facing a distressing and traumatic time.

“Kay was a wonderful person, showing unbelievable courage, her dying wish to set up the fund, helping other families in similar situations. Since her death in 2007, family and friends have continued to raise funds reaching in excess of £180,000”.

It is now two years since the trust fund announced their five year backing for the bereavement counsellor post. It has been a huge support for children in Hartlepool and East Durham.

Jan Grocott, head of counselling and support services at the hospice, said: “Since the Kay Smith Counsellor has been in post 112 different children have been referred into our children’s bereavement service. Each child attends an initial assessment to ascertain their suitability for bereavement counselling and what level of support they need.”

That can be anything from individual counselling to referral to the hospice’s Bereaved Children’s Group programme.

Jan added: “All of this has been achieved because of the ongoing hard work and dedication of the Kay Smith Fund and the kindness and generosity of the people who support the fund. We thank you all.”

In the eight years since Kay sadly passed away, her dedicated family and friends have raised more than £180,000.