|Family's Moving Tribute to Emmie|
|Wednesday, 09 May 2012 15:54|
More than 300 people took part in the RiverRock Belfast Marathon on Monday 7th May in memory of Emmie Delaney (5) who sadly died last year.
In a mark of exceptional support, a team of family friends, as well as teachers and classroom assistants from St Bride’s Primary School took part alongside Emmie’s mum Paula, grandmother Pauline and brother Pearse (8) to honour five-year-old Emmie Delaney, who was tragically knocked down shortly before Christmas. The 300-strong team, wore “Run For Emmie” tribute T-shirts, and were raising money for local charities New Life Counselling and the NI Children’s Hospice.
“Following Emmie’s death, many of the teachers wanted to do something in memory of him while also showing support for his bereaved mum Paula, brother Pearse and Nana Pauline,” explains St Bride’s school principal Mr Paul Carswell. “I approached Paula and she liked the idea of us running the marathon and wanted to get involved herself.”
Paula felt running the marathon was the perfect way to honour little Emmie, who was a huge sports fan; the happy youngster was devoted to Arsenal and Barcelona Football Clubs, and idolised Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, Arsenal’s Robin Van Persie and “Rory McIlrory”, as he innocently called the local golfer.
“We wanted to use the opportunity to raise money for worthwhile charities. We settled on splitting the money between two local causes: the NI Children’s Hospice, and New Life Counselling, the counselling charity that has been providing invaluable help to all the family over the past few difficult months,” continued Mr Carswell.
He explained that the family’s counsellor Jane, from New Life Counselling, often talks to the family on the school premises. He credits her with providing unrivalled support to the whole family, in particular for eight-year-old St Bride’s pupil Pearse: “New Life Counselling has provided Pearse, as well as the rest of the family, with the opportunity to articulate the feelings he has and prevent him bottling up what he’s going through during this very difficult and confusing time for the little boy. As far as I can tell, the counselling is very successful.
“The services offered by New Life Counselling are very much a positive resource for parents or families in this tragic situation. They’re such a worthwhile charity and Jane has really helped the Delaney family, so we’re proud to be fundraising for them.”
Chief Executive of New Life Counselling, Karen Collins Neill, said she is overwhelmed by the support shown: “It’s touching to see the community really supporting Paula and her team of runners to raise money for New Life Counselling. The money raised will help us deliver these much needed services to more families who require them.”
More than 300 people took part in the Marathon in memory of Emmie on 7th May, with over 50 of the team made up of teachers and staff from St Bride’s Primary School, including Mr Carswell. The family’s counsellor Jane also took part with her daughter. The team, all of whom were raising money for New Life Counselling and the NI Children’s Hospice, were one of the biggest charity teams taking part in the marathon run or walk, team relay or fun run.
Donations to support the team can be made on Paula’s JustGiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/Paula-Delaney