Charity launched in memory of tragic T in the Park teenager Megan Bell

The family of a popular teenager who died at a music festival are launching a charity after discovering first hand the heartache of losing their much-loved girl.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 23rd January 2017, 5:00 am
Updated Monday, 23rd January 2017, 6:47 am
Megan Bell pictured on holiday.
Megan Bell pictured on holiday.

Megan’s grandparents Jenny Bell, alongside her fellow councillor husband Eddie, are setting up Megan’s Rainbow Support Group after their family was left struggling to find the support they needed in the weeks after her tragic death.

The 17-year-old former St Anthony’s Catholic Girls’ Academy died while attending the T in the Park festival in Scotland last summer.

Councillors Eddie and Jenny Bell to set up support charity after the loss of granddaughter Megan Bell

Members of her family faced a wait of up to three weeks before they could see a bereavement counsellor, which then involved a round trip of more than 30 miles to Hartlepool.

Now they want to set up a support charity to help other families cope with the grief of a sudden loss as they continue to create a legacy for Megan, known as a “mother hen” known in her family for helping others.

In addition to her grandparents, Megan left dad Chris, 44, mum Lisa, 41, sisters Jenny, eight, and Maddy, 10, and brother Josh, 12.

Councillor Jenny Bell, a member of Durham County and Seaham Town Council alongside her husband, said: “We found a need for something in this area, especially for children.

The photo of Megan Bell, 17, from Seaham, on the order of service for her funeral.

“The doctor told the family we could be seen by someone in Hartlepool and we were looking at a wait of something like three weeks - you could have slit your wrists by then.

“If we could have something once a week at a drop-in centre, where people if they wished to could come and are quite happy to talk among themselves and share in their grief.

“We also want to get together some people who would like to train to be listeners, so people can come and chat, somewhere they can go if they want one-to-one and something for the family as well.

“When we lost Megan, there were three children to think about and logistically, taking them to Hartlepool one at a time or the family going as a group, isn’t easy.

Councillors Eddie and Jenny Bell to set up support charity after the loss of granddaughter Megan Bell

“Everyone’s needs are different and this area needs this.”

The group is aiming to achieve charity status and has begun fundraising and will be open to people from the region.

Among those to offer support is Julia Errington, wife of County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue chief Stuart, who will hold a coffee morning at the service’s head quarters in Belmont, Durham, on Friday, February 17, from 10am to 11am.

An inquest has been opened into Megan’s death, with an initial hearing told the drug known as ecstasy was found in her system.

The photo of Megan Bell, 17, from Seaham, on the order of service for her funeral.

Her family have said she did not take drugs and are still searching for answers about what happened to her.

In the aftermath of her death, the local community rallied round to hold a balloon release and charity events to honour Megan’s memory, with more events to be held.

Anyone who would like to find out more about Megan’s Rainbow Support Group can email Coun Bell via [email protected]