Rallying round for tragic baby

Kirkham baby fund appeal. Kerry-Anne Cullen (Kirkham Sun Centre), Karen Riley (Crave), Elaine Silverwood, Pagi Bowen-Jones (Escape), Paula Gemmell (Pink Tree Parties)
Kirkham baby fund appeal. Kerry-Anne Cullen (Kirkham Sun Centre), Karen Riley (Crave), Elaine Silverwood, Pagi Bowen-Jones (Escape), Paula Gemmell (Pink Tree Parties)

A MONEY-raising drive to fund a funeral for a tragic baby boy shows just what a wonderful community spirit there is in Kirkham.

That’s the feeling of town councillors and traders who have been touched by the reaction of townsfolk to the fate of the unidentified youngster who was found in Spen Brook close to Kirkham last month.

The baby’s mother has still to be found, despite a widespread police appeal, but the Kirkham public have been quick to prompt a fund which it is hoped will pay for a funeral for the child when the body is released for burial.

Collecting recepticles, in the shape of small pigs, are already on counters in a number of shops in Kirkham town centre as well as at the town’s Community Centre and the public have been flocking to contribute.

Town councillors have also been approached by at least two funeral directors offering their services free of charge –and if a funeral ceremony can be covered that way, the monies collected would be given to a children’s charity.

“A number of town councillors were approached by members of the public who had been so touched by the baby’s plight that they wanted to do something,” said Kirkham councillors and former Fylde Mayor Liz Oades.

“I think they’re very sad we don’t know who he belongs to and worry he will be buried in a pauper’s grave.

“It shows what a wonderful community spirit there is in the town. It is so sad that it involves such a tragic event but it is a typical reaction of the people in Kirkham. They have been very upset by this.”

Kirkham mayor Elaine Silverwood, who also sits in Fylde Council, heads the Kirkham Business Group and is proprietor of Silverdell bookshop on Poulton Street, has adopted the fund as one of her mayoral charities and is taking collections in her shop.

She said: “The public very quickly showed us they wanted to do something and the reaction from the traders has been excellent. Everyone is really rallying round.”

Among other shops involved are Kirkham Sun Centre, Crave, Escape, Pink Tree Parties, Park House Bakery and Edwards Dry Cleaners, while the opportunity to contribute at the Community Centre is available between 9am and 1pm daily. Cheques should be to Kirkham Town Council, with ‘Baby In The Brook’ on the back