The Hartlepool community will participate in a minute’s silence today following the death of a toddler from the town.
Middleton Grange Shopping Centre has arranged a minute’s silence in memory of Jacob Jenkins, who choked on a grape at the town’s Pizza Hut branch last week.
To date, a Go Fund Me page set up to support little Jacob and his family has almost reached £13,000 – and while he was in an induced coma in hospital, hundreds sent prayers, lit candles of hope and donated what they could.
On Wednesday, just as Jacob died in the arms of parents Abigail and David, hundreds met at Seaton Carew seafront to release yellow balloons.
Now, in a further tribute, the minute’s silence is being held at 11am – with wider members of the Hartlepool community and the North East region being invited to join in too.
A post on the Middleton Grange Facebook yesterday said: “We are so sorry to hear about the death of two-year-old Jacob last night, our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.
“In honour of Jacob we will be holding a minute’s silence at Middleton Grange shopping centre tomorrow morning at 11am (Friday).
“Donations to the Baby Jacob, The Little Angel Fund can also be made at our customer service desk.” It is thought that some shops will also be taking donations.
Mark Rycraft, manager at the centre, told the Mail he and his wife saw the ambulance attend Pizza Hut on Friday. They later learned the terrible story of what happened to Jacob.
“I was just hoping for a positive outcome and, of course, when we recevied the awful news I was beside myself,” Mr Rycraft added.
“I thought as a community hub we should be doing something.”
He continued: “It is heart-warming to see the community come together like this and we would encourage people if they can’t come down to the centre to take a moment out of their day to join us, wherever they are.”