At the garden party organised by Anchor and Hope 37 member Tom Craine over the summer recess, a cheque for £100 was presented to the The Jennifer Charity generously raised from gate receipts and a raffle on the day.
Graham and James Edgington are the founders of The Jennifer Charity and their story was the catalyst to the set up of this unique charity. Following the death of Jennifer in 1985 Graham was left as a single parent of a 16 month old baby. Not only did he have the pressure of bringing up James alone, he had to find his own time to grieve and work a fulltime job.
Twenty-five years later James has extensively researched widowed fathers and was alarmed at the lack of of supportive organisations aimed at widowers in particular. There are exceptional bereavement charities and organisations helping single parents, often single mothers but nothing for men.
James decided that he wanted to set up this charity as a support mechanism for widowed fathers and of course importantly the children affected by these circumstances. Graham and James appeared in ‘Britain’s Got Talent 2010’ and reached the live shows as singing due Father and Son which in itself was a great achievement for them and a great tribute to Jennifer.
James would like to say: “I feel now is the right time to raise awareness of Jennifer for those in need of support. Our aim is not to overwhelm but to simply provide what is needed at a certain moment. I want this to be a tribute to my mum hence the name: Jennifer. I hope that we can help people who sadly need this kind of support. The main message is to stay positive and respond to life day by day”
To provide a support network for widowed fathers and their children, offering financial and psychological support throughout a carefully selected network and programme. Full structured support will be offered from the early stages of bereavement, family development, financial assistance where applicable and introduction to independent support groups.
Family care units will be organised to offer local child care provision for working fathers and vocational breaks at selected family holiday locations within the United Kingdom.
Telephone, and one to one support will be offered to grieving fathers and their children to assist in coping with the loss of the loved one, direct assistance to maintain family communication lines and interaction with Governmental assistance where available.