5p Carrier bag sales at The Heart of England Co-operative Society help raise £5,000 for families suffering the bereavement of a child


Friday, August 4, 2017

A charity which provides specialist support to Coventry and Warwickshire families grieving the loss of a child has received £5,000 from the Heart of England Co-operative Society.

The Laura Centre (TLC) is one of 15 charities across the Society’s trading area to receive a share of £50,000 – all raised from sales of 5p carrier bags as part of the government levy to cut their use, and reduce damage to the environment.

Founded by Gail and Harry Moore in memory of their daughter Laura, who died in 1989 aged just five, the centre opened its doors in Leicester in 1991.

With centres also in Leicester and Derby the charity offers highly specialist bereavement counselling and therapeutic support to families whose children have died.

It also offers the same service to young children mourning the loss of their siblings.

The charity has received national recognition for its wide-ranging services which includes individual and group support as well as a variety of alternative therapies.

Gail said: “We have a constant challenge in managing our waiting lists and on average some 650 individuals are referred to The Laura Centre for the first time every year, with many more benefiting from our group work and our professional training and education programmes for people dealing with death and dying in the workplace. All have been affected by extremely difficult untimely death – of a child, a parent or a sibling.

“This donation from the Heart of England Co-operative Society through the government’s carrier bag levy is fabulous. We rely on grass roots level support to continue and this gives us a great opportunity to raise the money that we need to keep the doors open, and to raise the profile of the charity’s work and the need for anyone else to come forward if they can help in any way, shape or form while we grow this service locally.”

Ali Kurji, Chief Executive of the Society, said: “The Laura Centre is a fantastic charity providing a much-needed service for families during one of life’s most traumatic experiences.

“Much as though we expect to have to prepare ourselves to lose our grandparents, parents and siblings, the loss of a child is a tragedy we of course hope we never have to face.

“The Laura Centre provides an invaluable service to bereaved families in the area and we are delighted to award £5,000 which our customers have helped raise over these past months.”

Through the levy the Heart of England Co-operative Society has awarded £10,000 in Coventry in total, with a further £40,000 across the rest of the trading area.

The remaining £5,000 in Coventry was divided between Coventry Young Carers, which received £3,000, and Coventry Mencap & Wayfarers Club, which received £2,000.

Government statistics show that in 2014 major supermarkets in England handed more than 7.6 billion single-use bags to customers – equating to 61,000 tonnes or 140 bags per person.

Research on behalf of the government showed the average household contained some 40 plastic bags around the home and the number of carrier bags taken from supermarkets continued to increase year on year in the five years to 2014.

As well as the environmental benefits the government believes the levy will benefit the economy by up to £780 million over the next 10 years – with up to £730 million raised in aid of good causes, £60 million of savings in clean-up costs and carbon savings of £113 million.

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