A festival created by DJ Chris Evans has made a generous donation to St Oswald’s Hospice to help bereaved children and their families.

Last week staff from St Oswald’s Hospice’s bereavement team were surprised with a cheque of £15,000 at the launch of CarFest 2020, an annual family music and motoring festival.

CarFest supports children’s charities in the UK and was inspired to donate to St Oswald’s after Chris Evans heard about the support the charity offers to bereaved children. The donation will go towards supporting the families of grieving children, who are in need of specialist bereavement support.

Beth Gregan, Family and Bereavement Practitioner at St Oswald’s Hospice who is funded by BBC Children in Need, said:

“I met Chris Evans at an awards ceremony last month where I had been nominated for an award. He asked me about the work I did at the hospice and I thought nothing more of it until I received a call from his team to tell me they’d like to make a donation to the hospice.

“We were invited to the launch event for CarFest 2020 last week and we had no idea what to expect so to have been given £15,000 has been an incredible surprise!

“At the hospice we have recently been able to extend our services to support local bereaved children who don’t have any prior connection to St Oswald’s. A couple of years later we have realised that there is still a gap we haven’t been able to fill in supporting the parent or carer of the child. It is so important that both child and carer who are bereaved are in a good place so they can support one another to grieve together.

“Unfortunately we just haven’t had the capacity or funding in the bereavement team to be able to support these family members who need bereavement support. Now that we have this funding we’ll be able to provide this vital support for parents and carers too.”

Angela Egdell, Director of Care at St Oswald’s Hospice, said: “At the hospice we meet lots of families who have been unable to access other bereavement support services locally. The donation from CarFest will allow us to expand our service to provide this vital support to carers and parents of children who already use our services.

“On behalf of everyone at St Oswald’s I’d like to say a huge thank you to CarFest for their support. As a charity we rely on over £7.5 million every year to continue our services to people in the North East, and without generous donations like this it wouldn’t be possible.”