A FUND set up in memory of a north Northumberland boy who died suddenly of meningitis has raised more than £2,000 in a single day of activity.
Joshua Prime was just seven-and-a-half months old when his life was tragically cut short by the killer bug, leaving his mum Rachael and dad Darren devastated.
But friends of the couple, who live in Alnwick, rallied around and organised a raffle and charity bucket run around the town on Saturday to boost the Joshua James Prime Forever Fund.
The money raised will go towards supporting Meningitis UK.
Julie Avery, from Kiddies Kabin in Alnwick, organised the raffle which was supported by local businesses, including Louis Steak House, The Oaks Hotel, Lilburn’s, Copperfield’s, The Wool Shop, Haberdashery Shop, Collectables, Scott’s of Alnwick, Beauty World, The Scarf Shop, Enhance, The Gate Gallery, Morrisons, Mint, Leisurelook, Northumbria Pets, Hair and Sun, Salon 2 and Simply Flowers, which all donated prizes.
The total raised was £1,011.82
Jodie Davies and Andrea Renton, who are close friends of Rachael, held the bucket run in Alnwick on Saturday night, where kind-hearted folk dug deep to help raise a further £1,049.60 for the fund.
Wearing pink tutus, leg-warmers and Meningitis UK T-shirts with a picture of Josh, the duo went round the town, collecting in pubs and other venues.
“It was absolutely fantastic,” said Jodie. “Everyone was just so generous and it was a brilliant night. The sheer generosity of people was just unreal and we want to thank everyone for their support. We are buzzing and Rachael and Darren are just so grateful for everyone’s generosity.”
The pair visited The Queen’s Head, Market Tavern, Hairy Lemon, Alnwick Gate, The Fleece, Alnwick Arms, Blackmore’s, Oddfellows Arms, Oscars, The White Swan Hotel and the Tanners Arms, as well as Dalchini, Pizza Royale and Hot Bite, while Graeme King’s Taxis also contributed.
John Hope, owner at Penny Black, match-funded what Jodie and Andrea made in the Fenkle Street venue on the night, donating £150 to the cause.
Andrea added: “It just goes to show that people feel for Rachael and Darren. They are a local couple and it has affected everyone. The response has been amazing.”
Rachael said: “Joshua was an image of perfection in our dreams whilst pregnant and a perfect reality in our arms when he was born on July 24, 2010. He had infectious bright blue eyes and then there was his smile that everyone talked about.
“Joshua was taken from us suddenly on Thursday, March 17 this year to pneumococcal meningitis. That’s where our lives fell apart. He was our first child and his loss has had an enormous impact on everyone around us. He touched the hearts of so many people in the short time he was here.
“He was loved so very much and we will never ever forget him. We will do anything, no matter how small, to raise awareness and to try and help stop this happening to another family. We would like to raise £7,500, to match his age, for Meningitis UK through the Joshua James Prime Forever Fund.”
To donate to the fund, visit http://meningitisuk.tributefunds.com/fund/Joshua+James+Prime/showFund/