Charity is saved by local supermarket

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A SUPERMARKET has come to the aid of a Milton Keynes charity that helps people deal with the loss of relatives and loved ones.

The Milton Keynes Bereavement Service (MKBS) has been named charity of the year by Sainsbury’s in Central Milton Keynes.

And money raised by the store is expected to keep the service running for at least another 12 months, after its annual £7,000 funding from Milton Keynes Council was cut.

The service was set up in 1979 to help the community through bereavements, with volunteers only paid expenses for their valuable hard work.

But each year, the MKBS had to apply for grant aid from the council, which accounts for 75 per cent of its yearly funding.

The council’s withdrawal meant the service would have had to close in 2012 had Sainsbury’s not stepped in.

Jeni Pratt,a spokesman for the charity, said: “We’re really excited and would like to thank everyone in the community who voted for us.”

Odette Mould and her husband Lee from Greenleys lost their five-year-old son Harry in 2009, and are among those who have benefited from the counselling service after she initially approached the charity for support for Harry’s twin, Jessica.

Odette said: “Milton Keynes Bereavement Service put a counsellor in touch with us who came round to see Jessica to discuss things with her and it made me feel more secure that there was someone there for Jessica to talk to.

“I do believe it helped her to have someone to talk to straight away, even if she doesn’t remember it now.”

Odette added that she was “really pleased” that the service will continue and continue to help other families.

She added: “Their future is now secured for another year and hopefully as a result of that people will get to know who they are and other people will see that this is something that needs to continue.”