Two teams from the Newark Sorting Office have entered the Dragon Boat Race Festival in support of a colleague.
Postlady Charlotte Holland asked her manager if it was possible to recruit a team as a thank you for the help given to her family by the Children’s Bereavement Centre.
The response was so good they have enough people for two teams – First Class Flyers and Special Delivery.
Charlotte turned to the centre for help after her sister Sarah died leaving her two young children.
Sarah had been ill for six weeks. She was finally sent for a scan at King’s Mill Hospital and she returned home to wait for the results.
She died the following day at her home from pancreatitis and pneumonia.
Sarah’s son was five and her daughter 13 at the time. Charlotte, who has two young children of her own, had no hesitation about giving them a home and caring for them.
“Sarah was such a great mum,” said Charlotte. “She did everything for her children.”
Her mum in particular was very supportive but Charlotte realised she needed more help.
“It was such an emotional roller-coaster,” she said.
“One day, I don’t know why, but I called the Children’s Bereavement Centre. I was told not to worry about an appointment and to just come down to the centre. So I did.”
The children were offered help and made memory books and memory boxes. The centre continues to keep in touch with them and invites them to special events.
“They really benefitted from going,” she said.
Since then Charlotte has become a regular fundraiser for the centre and will be in one of the teams at the dragon boat race. The other team members range in age from 18 to 60.
The Sorting Office plans to fundraise in August with the postal team dressing up to do their deliveries and there will be a raffle. It is hoped that Royal Mail will match fund anything they raise.
The other newcomers to the festival include Newark Amateur Operatic Society. Its chairman Rita Crowe said they felt it was a good way for members to get together and help Beaumond House Hospice Care too.
“We have recently had members who were helped by Beaumond House and we’ve sent donations in their memory,” she said.
The team will be led by vice-chairman Mike Follen with Rita supporting from the towpath.
The event will be held at the Riverside Park, Newark, on September 19 and is being jointly organised by Beaumond House Hospice Care and the Children’s Bereavement Centre.
Volunteer co-ordinator at Beaumond House Lucy Millard said there had been a great response to a plea for volunteers to help but more are still needed.
“Thank you so much to everyone who has been in touch to say they would be happy to help,” she said.
“I’m delighted that we have enough for the morning session but we still need more help from noon onwards. If you have a little time to spare please do get in touch.”
The two shifts where help is needed are from 12 to 3.30 and 3 to finish – probably about 5.30. The main need is for river marshals on other side of the Trent.
Anybody able to help should contact Lucy at firstname.lastname@example.org or Rachel at email@example.com