Woman’s care for grieving families sees her nominated for Best of Wearside award

Kirsty McGurrel of the 4Louis charity with the boxes which she donates to the parents of stillborn babies.
Kirsty McGurrel of the 4Louis charity with the boxes which she donates to the parents of stillborn babies.
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A Houghton woman has been nominated for honours after setting up a charity to help grieving families.

Kirsty McGurrell formed 4Louis after her son was stillborn in 2009.

It is a shock. I am overwhelmed. We thought we would supply memory boxes to the hospital in Sunderland. People found out what we did and now it is massive

Kirsty McGurrell, founder of the 4Louis charity

4Louis creates keepsake boxes so that grieving parents can capture as many memories as they can. The boxes are given to hospitals free of charge.

Kirsty was providing her first memory box for other grieving people just months after her own tragedy.

Since then, 4Louis has gone from helping one Sunderland hospital to providing a service for almost all parts of the UK.

Yet despite the phenomenal success of the charity, Kirsty was still overwhelmed to hear she was in the running for a Best of Wearside award.

“It’s a shock,” she said. “I am overwhelmed.”

She described 4Louis and the work that it does as “massive. We cover Portsmouth, Cornwall, Cardiff, all hospitals in the North East, Blackpool, Barnsley, Basingstoke and many others.”

But when asked if she had expected the organisation to become so huge, she saíd: “No. Absolutely not. We thought we would supply the hospital in Sunderland with memory boxes but people saw what we do.”

The Best of Wearside nomination for Kirsty said: “To me, what Kirsty and her family have achieved in just five years in Louis memory is definitely a lifetime achievement – to have made a difference to so many people’s lives on a daily basis.”

Another said: “She has done this while she is also mum to two young children.”

This year, the competition is being held in association with Vantec Europe Ltd.

To help us in our quest, we have also been backed by some fantastic category sponsors. They are Calsonic, Gentoo, Martinos, TWR and UK Asbestos and we thank them all for their fantastic backing.

The competition’s grand finale will be at the Stadium of Light on Thursday, November 19, and we are hoping to nominate some truly deserving people. But we can only do that if our readers tell us all about the people who deserve honours.

We are calling on people across Wearside and East Durham to recognise the real heroes of our area –the people who make a difference in the community.

Let’s make this a fantastic awards night, filled with stories to remember.

lTo nominate your own personal favourite, fill in the nomination form or visit http://www.jpne-events.co.uk/