A FAMILY bereavement charity has thanked local Sainsbury’s stores for delivering a ‘fantastic’ funding boost.

Elliot’s Footprint was founded in 2014 by Andrea and John Kerslake, from Leeds.

The charity was named after the couple’s youngest son Elliot who died suddenly and without warning, aged two and a half, in 2013.

Shocked by the lack of support that was available afterwards, the couple decided to start Elliot’s Footprint as a way of helping other families who are faced with the trauma of suddenly losing a child.

The couple, explaining further on their website at www.elliotsfootprint.org, say that: “Through Elliot’s Footprint we vow to help other families who sadly find themselves in this strange world we now belong, we’ll reach out to them and guide them through: just as Elliot would have done in life.”

For the past year the Sainsbury’s supermarkets in Otley and Rawdon have been busy fundraising - with the stores’ PR Ambassador and fundraiser Linda Guy overseeing activities - for the cause.

On Friday, May 24, Mrs Kerslake visited the Otley store where she was presented with a cheque for £6,472 by Otley manager Jemma Kameen, Rawdon store manager Carl Lightowler and other members of staff.

Mrs Kerslake told the Wharfedale & Aireborough Observer that the money would make a huge difference. She said: “This is fantastic and will help us fund a bereavement support worker for four or five months, which is amazing.

“The role is very much tailored to what each family needs - and involves helping siblings and grandparents, as well as parents - and there is a lot of demand for it.

“The support worker is not only there to help with emotional support and care but also to provide professional assistance with a lot of the difficult practical things, such as dealing with the coroner’s office.

“A massive thank you to Linda and Sainsbury’s for helping to raise such a fantastic amount. This level of funding is so important and it lets us plan ahead.”