A NEW charity is being set up to support bereaved families in memory of Charlie Burns.

Charlie from Bulford who was ten died in October 2011 from sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP). He suffered two seizures within days of each other.

Now, his parents Jan and Barrie are establishing Charlie’s Star Charity, which they say aims to create “hope and smiles” for bereaved families who have lost a child under the age of 19 by providing fully funded seven-day respite breaks in Cornwall.

Jan said: “When you lose a child it falls outside of everything that is supposed to happen in the cycle of life. I think losing a child is the worst thing anybody would have to face.

“We just feel by offering families a chance to get away in a safe bubble they can recharge their batteries and have time away from everything that is reminding them of what they have lost. You never get over losing a child and never will.”

The couple say by providing these breaks for bereaved families it “makes life a little bit easier” for them and also removes the financial burdens that they can experience.

Barrie said: “It removes you completely from everything that’s going on. When you are in that grieving period you are numb. It takes you away and puts you into a new environment with immediate family and gives you time to think about everything that has happened, gives you time to reflect on that as a family and gives you time to look forward.”

Several families in the Salisbury area will be benefitting from the support of Charlie’s Star Charity, which pays for all the travel, accommodation, food and excursions.

Barrie said: “Charlie has got an amazing legacy that he’s left behind. We didn’t want his death to be for nothing. Some good had to come out of it.”

Since Charlie’s death Jan and Barrie have helped raised thousands of pounds for various charities, which they say has given them the “drive and determination” to help other bereaved parents and families.

Barrie added: “To be able to help people was of paramount importance to us. We know what it was like to suffer. For us to be in a position to do that is amazing and has given us a bit of a boost.”

A launch night for Charlie’s Star Charity is being held at the Stones Hotel, High Post, on April 6, which would have been Charlie’s 18th birthday.

For more go to charliesstar.org