A PERFORMING arts academy has been praised for the way it staged a show for charity.
The Michelle Brown Academy of Dance & Theatre Arts (MBA), in Tower Street, Hartlepool, provided a showcase for two charities – one called 4BabyBell and the other 4Louis.
Both help bereaved people who have lost a child, and the academy, which is run by Michelle Brown, stepped in to provide the entertainment at a charity night at the Raglan club, in Hartlepool.
4Louis founder Kirsty McGurrell, 25, from Houghton-le-Spring, set up the cause after she lost her son Louis when he was stillborn at 38 weeks, in 2009.
Kirsty said her spur to set up the charity was her desire to have a permanent reminder of Louis.
The charity has been going ever since and provides hospitals with memory boxes, so grieving parents can capture as many memories as they can.
When Louis was stillborn, said Kirsty, it “pulled my world apart”. But now she is doing her best to help other parents in the same position as her. 4Louis now makes memory boxes for 140 hospitals and has an office in Peterlee where a team of 12 people work.
The 4BabyBell charity helps families and parents through bereavement. The charity was set up in 2011, and makes and delivers memory boxes, Moses baskets and angel pockets to hospitals across the UK.
Joanne Robinson is a volunteer for the two charities and said: “I advertised on Facebook for entertainment and Michelle stepped in.
“Her academy was brilliant. They were so good I gave them medals and a thank you. They put on a show for an hour”.
It was partly thanks to Michelle and her academy students that the event raised £890 for a truly worthy cause.
Michelle said: “MBA can’t wait to work with the fabulous charity again in the future.”