Parents all over the world do the same thing, every hour of every day. Just over 5 years ago now, Neil and Rachael Salmon did the same, they put their 3 year old son Joseph to bed.
Joseph never woke up.
When I first read Neil and Rachael’s story 2 years ago I could appreciate their utter devastation. Now as our own long awaited daughter sleeps just feet from where I’m writing this, it sends shivers through me, sickening my stomach with unwanted dread.
In the years that followed Joseph’s death, Neil and Rachael took it upon themselves to create some good out of their sadness. They created the Joseph Salmon trust. The death of a child is usually not something people expect, nor make financial preparations for. The trust raises and distributes money to parents and families that have lost children, helping with the unexpected burden of funeral costs, a headstone, maybe a treat for siblings, or perhaps just paying an electricity bill while the family wage earners try to hold their world together.
The trust works locally in the Huddersfield area of Northern England, is completely voluntary, and operates with very small amounts of money.
Dan, the most sickeningly nicest man on the planet, but more importantly a friend of Neil and Rachael, has taken it upon himself, not for the first time, to try and raise funds for the trust. The poor chap is not very inventive, but he is ambitious, and in July this year he wants to raise money by simply walking.
He has managed to convince (or as I’m legally forbidden from calling it, 'emotionally blackmail') me, and 58 others to walk with him, across the width of England.
On 5th July this year, 60 people coming from the UK, Holland, and the United States are leaving family and comfort behind, in their own time, at their own expense, to walk for 6 days and 84 miles along the historical Hadrian’s Wall trail.
The goal is for us to raise £20,000 for the trust, for the families in the area that will unexpectedly lose a child in the coming year, all in memory of one little boy who left his own mam and dad far too soon.
In the grand scheme of things £20,000 is a small amount of money, but it is of unmeasurable value to the trust, and more specifically the people the trust helps.
I’m sure some of you could blow that target out of the water with a couple of keystrokes, so feel free. I’m sure more of you could manage to help a little towards the target, also feel free. Those not in a position to help financially can help by spreading the word, stumble or tweet this post, or any of the links below.
While I go and make sure a certain someone is sleeping soundly, I ask that if you can give a little or a lot, please do so here.