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Saturday, 30 August 2014

Grieving mum blasts conmen

A GRIEVING mum has blasted doorstep conmen who attempted to get money by claiming to be collecting for a charity set up in her daughter’s memory.

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CHARITY: Stephanie Balcarras (left) who died after taking GBL. Inset: Stephanie’s mum, Teresa Kerrigan SUBMITTED

Teresa Kerrigan was contacted by friends after police were called to the Fairfield Lane and Prospect Avenue area of Barrow by worried residents.

The Evening Mail reported last month how Miss Kerrigan struggled to pay for Stephanie Balcarras’s funeral and wants to make sure others don’t suffer in the same way.

She lost her 22-year-old daughter to “party drug” GBL.

The bogus collectors were trying to get money claiming they were from a charity set up by the 44-year-old in honour of her child.

Miss Kerrigan, of Rawlinson Street, Barrow, was reeling from Stephanie’s death last October and was then faced with the fact she suddenly needed to find £1,000 to bury her.

She knows she’s not the only one to face such a problem and after making checks found there was no charity available to help people in such a situation.

The mum has now set up charity The Rose in honour of her daughter and hopes she can help others cope a little easier without the worry of finding money to bury a child or loved one.

The charity will initially help local families but if successful could be launched nationally.

Speaking about the bogus charity collectors, she said: “I can’t believe people are doing this kind of thing, posing as a charity to get money for themselves. It’s not going to just affect us, it will affect other charities as well. Its unbelievable the lengths some people will go to.

“We would like to thank everyone who donated to our charity at Morrison’s. A special thanks to the kids who turned up to help with the bag packing, they did a fantastic job.”

Police are warning people to be on their guard and check the identity of anyone claiming to be collecting for charity.

Anyone with concerns should contact officers on 0845 330 0247.

Stephanie’s charity has already raised £229 in and around Barrow town centre with a collection and bag packing at Morrisons in Barrow managed to collect £530.31.

On June 13, six days before what would have been Stephanie’s 23rd birthday, a fund-raising night is to be held at The Kill One on Duke Street, Barrow, to raise even more money to build up the funds so they can be ready to help those in need.

Miss Kerrigan is appealing for help for this event and any bric-a-brac or raffle prizes that can be donated by individuals or companies to raise money.

Singers including Denis Horan, Beth Wilkes, Karen Logan, Pete Thompson, Dave Jones and many more have already pledged to perform for free at the all-day event. But more help is needed to make it a huge success and she needs local companies to get involved to help with raffle prizes.

The fund-raiser will take place at The Kill One from 2pm until 8pm and tickets are just £5. As well as a full day of entertainment from local singers there will be a raffle, auction, guess the weight of the cake, leg waxing, football cards and much more.

To donate prizes, buy tickets or for further information about this event contact Miss Kerrigan on 0772 964 8427.

Have your say

I have just read the artical.I am deeply touched after reading it.I agree that nobody should be in need when such a tragedy happens.If I am home from my work I will be supporting the event and I hope many more will do the same.I am sure the Barrow people will rally round and support as they have done on many occasions.

Posted by George Tranter on 15 May 2010 at 11:08

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