Grieving Preston mums launch support group to help other bereaved parents

Dylan Shuttle passed away from bone cancer aged seven in 2004 - his mum Trudie Ritch is setting up a bereavment support group.
Dylan Shuttle passed away from bone cancer aged seven in 2004 - his mum Trudie Ritch is setting up a bereavment support group.
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For most parents the loss of a child is unthinkable.

But sadly, it is a devastating prospect many Lancashire families face, with many feeling lost, bewildered and with nowhere to turn.

Lee Worswick who died. His mum Aileen Worswick is starting a support group for bereaved mums

Lee Worswick who died. His mum Aileen Worswick is starting a support group for bereaved mums

Two grieving Preston mums are aiming to help others in their position with the launch of a new support group for bereaved parents in the city.

Trudy Ritch, 39, was devastated when she and her partner Stephen, 44, lost their seven-year-old son, Dylan Shuttle, to a rare form of bone cancer 10 years ago.

The family, from Moor Nook, found a lump in his wrist after a fall when he was five.

The Moor Nook Primary School pupil had six courses of chemotherapy to tackle the disease and was in remission, but doctors discovered the cancer had spread to his lungs.

Residents on the Moor Nook estate raised money to erect a Peter Pan statue in Grange Park as a permanent tribute to the brave youngster, who loved the JM Barrie story Peter Pan.

Trudie, who is spearheading the group, says: “There is nothing like this in the area, especially for people who have lost children to accidents.

“We are not trained counsellors, and don’t offer counselling but we all have something in common and hope people will find comfort and support through meeting others in a similar situation.”

Whilst attending another social group Trudie met Aileen Worswick, 50, of Morris Crescent, Ribbleton, who lost her 25-year-old son Lee, a former Fulwood High pupil, in 2009.

They were stunned to find their sons had the same birthday, and agreed to set up their own group.

Aileen, a civil servant said: “I think it’s helpful to be around others in the same situation. My journey began after a breakdown last year, I knew I needed to talk to others who understood what I was feeling.”

The first session of the group – christened sLEEpeaceful as a tribute to Lee – is at St Gregory’s Social Centre on May 20 from 7pm to 8.30pm.