Grieving Wrexham mum's charity effort for drowned teen

Reporter:

Phil Robinson

THE grieving mother of a teenager swept to his death on a trip to Blackpool has raised thousands of pounds for the families of wounded soldiers.

The efforts of Claire Saunders of Rhostyllen, whose son Jack, 18, died last year, have won warm praise from the founder of the charity Welsh Warrior.

The charity was set up by Hazel Hunt, whose son Richard was the 200th soldier to die fighting in Afghanistan.

She will be visiting the region today to meet the Queen during a Royal visit to Chester, and Hazel said she saw the £2,000 raised by Claire as a “special donation” which had united the grieving mums.

She said: “I am absolutely amazed and overwhelmed by the donation from Claire.

Having lost my own son I know how hard it is.

“Jack was lost in very tragic circumstances at only 18 and for his mother to think of helping someone else is marvellous.

“This is a special donation from one grieving mum to another.”

Jack was swept to his death from Blackpool promenade last October while on a weekend trip to the town with friends.

Because he had treasured a lifelong ambition to follow his grandfather into the services, Claire decided to raise cash in his name for Welsh Warrior.

Claire has now raised more than £2,000 from various fundraising events over the past few months. The largest amount raised was in a sponsored swim at Wrexham’s Waterworld by Jack’s friend Sam Borthwick, of Caia Park, who is serving with the Royal Navy.

A sizeable amount was also donated in lieu of flowers at Jack’s funeral held at St Giles’ parish church last year.

Later today Hazel will be among recipients of the Queen Elizabeth bravery medal presented by the Queen when she presents new colours to the 1st Royal Welsh at Chester Racecourse.

Hazel said: “I would like to thank Claire Saunders and the people of Wrexham for responding so amazingly to our charity.”

Claire said: “I am just pleased to have been able to help Welsh Warrior and I would also like to thank the people of Wrexham for the way they have supported my fundraising events in memory of Jack.”

She is currently planning her next two events in aid of the charity, a band and disco night in Brymbo on August 6 and another evening of entertainment yet to be decided, possibly to be held in Wrexham town centre in October.

See full story in the Leader

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