How an afternoon tea helped 4Louis

Julie Reay, right, and daughter Vicky, host a Ladies Day Afternoon Tea at Love Lily, Marine Walk, Roker, in aid of 4louis, with shop owners Helena and Gemma Ganley, and 4louis Tracey and Kirsty McGurrell.
Julie Reay, right, and daughter Vicky, host a Ladies Day Afternoon Tea at Love Lily, Marine Walk, Roker, in aid of 4louis, with shop owners Helena and Gemma Ganley, and 4louis Tracey and Kirsty McGurrell.

A ladies lunch brewed up more than £1,000 to help a lifeline charity which helps parents through the toughest of times.

As part of her continued efforts to help Wearside causes, charity champion Julie Reay from Barnes teamed up with Love Lily cake shop and cafe in Roker for an afternoon tea with a twist.

By enjoying the traditional tea, women were able to raise money for 4Louis, a charity set up by Houghton mum Kirsty McGurrell after her first son Louis was still born.

Since the tragedy in 2009, the McGurrell family’s memory boxes, which are given to parents to provide keepsakes in honour of their children’s short lives, are now included in hospitals the length and breadth of Britain.

One of those to benefit from the charity was Love Lily owner Helena Ganley.

Helena, who runs the cafe at Pier Point with sister Gemma, said: “I had a miscarriage with my first pregnancy and gave birth to my little boy Robin at 18 weeks in January 2017. Shortly after giving birth I was given a 4Louis memory box full of little treasures and keepsakes. I will never be able to thank 4Louis enough for their kind gift. Without this box I wouldn’t have been able to take the footprints of my son, something which I absolutely treasure.”

Julie has also been touched by tragedy after the death of her son in a rope swing accident in 2002, but she has kept his memory alive with the Peter David Lane Trust Fund. She said: “We have raised thousands of pounds for different charities over the years, none more special than 4Louis. Thank you to everyone who came along to this fabulous event, and to Helena and Gemma.”