A charity launched by a family as they struggled in the aftermath of their teenage girl’s death has set up a tree to help others as Christmas approaches.
Megan’s Rainbow Support Group is being run by the loved ones of former St Anthony’s Girls’ Catholic Academy student Megan Bell, who died at the T in the Park festival in July 2016 aged 17.
The organisation plans to launch its chat sessions in the New Year and will also help families cover the cost of funerals.
In the lead up to Christmas, a tree has been set up in Byron Place shopping centre in Megan’s hometown of Seaham to give people a way of expressing their love and loss.
The tree has been donated by the Shaw Trust in Parkside, with labels left next to it so people can write a message to attach.
Jenny Bell, Megan’s grandmother, is among the group who are running the charity, which was established after she and her relations found it difficult to access counselling close to home and in the initial aftermath of Megan’s sudden death.
We set this up so there is somewhere to go and to be listened to when they need support and with Christmas time coming, this is a place where they can think about things.Jenny Bell
She said: “We set this up so there is somewhere to go and to be listened to when they need support and with Christmas time coming, this is a place where they can think about things.
“We’ve got tags of different shapes and sizes and they can write down their memory and a little message and put it on the tree and we know that people do worry about this time of year.”
Seaham’s mayor, Councillor Sonia Forster said: “I think its an absolutely wonderful effort and I remember when my daughter died and the emptiness in my life, and in fact still is.
“This tree is a great idea and this group really will make a difference.”
A Facebook page can be found via https://www.facebook.com/MegansRainbowSupportGroup/.