'We remember him with a tear and a smile': Bereaved mother is face of new EACH charity campaign seven years after her son's death
A bereaved mother from Cambridgeshire is the face of a new campaign as a cardboard cut-out of her will encourage people to donate items to charity.
In February 2012, the lives of Claire Wright and husband Bob fell apart after their 14-month-old son, Jacob, was diagnosed with mitochondrial disease.
There was no treatment or cure for Jacob's condition and he sadly passed away on April 20 2012.
Fast forward to just days after the seventh anniversary of Jacob's death and Claire, 45, from Sutton, near Ely, is the star of 'Dress Claire'.
The bold campaign aims to drive donations at the 37 shops of East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH).
The charity, in Claire's words, “is a place where we can remember our beautiful boy, Jacob, with a tear and a smile”.
“You never think you'll be the one who needs EACH's support, but when you do it's something priceless,” she said.
After dying and until his funeral, Jacob stayed at EACH's hospice in Milton, just north of Cambridge.
It allowed Claire and Bob to hold and kiss him, wash and dress him, and be his parents until the very end.
After Jacob had gone, EACH provided counselling and opportunities to remember him at annual memory days. Claire credits the strength she has now to that support.
Lifesize cardboard cut-outs of Claire, partially hidden behind a board, will greet customers at shops over the next two weeks.
Claire, also mum to two-year-old Charlotte, said: “When EACH asked if I wanted to be part of their new shop donations campaign, I said 'sounds like a great idea! I'm game, so count me in.'”
Claire went to City College Norwich in February, when she enjoyed having her hair and makeup done by student Sophie Briggs, and photos taken by second-year photography students.
Ian Nicolson, EACH head of retail and trading, said: “We hope Dress Claire will be even more of a boost and we're so thankful to Claire for agreeing to put herself in the spotlight.
“We're in need of women's and men's clothes, as well as bric-a-brac, books, toys, jewellery and more.”
EACH also needs donations of good-quality furniture and can collect it free of charge if you are unable to transport it yourself.
Call 01842 821620 for more information or visit www.each.org/uk/dressclaire.