Family reach out to others after tragic death of beloved toddler Elliot

Elliot Kerslake with big sister Emily and mum Andrea.

Elliot Kerslake with big sister Emily and mum Andrea.

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A FAMILY is reaching out to others following the tragic and unexpected death of their beloved two-year-old son.

Leeds based child-bereavement charity Elliot’s Footprint, set up in memory of Elliot Kerslake who died in his sleep in March 2013, is conducting research into experiences of families who have suddenly and unexpectedly lost a child and need people willing to take part.

The charity is asking families who are willing to talk about their experience of bereavement support to contact them.

Elliot’s Footprint will use findings to shape their strategy and the ways in which they will support grieving families.

Charity founder and Elliot’s Mum Andrea Kerslake, from Horsforth, said: “Losing Elliot brought indescribable pain to our family. Being thrust into a system and labelled ‘bereaved parents’ is a situation that’s impossible to get used to, but it’s one that many parents do unfortunately find themselves in.

“We hope that through this research, Elliot’s Footprint can make a very real difference to the experience of grieving families and help them through their suffering.”

Founded in 2014 by Andrea and husband John, they are working hard to enhance and improve the systems that families face in the aftermath of losing a child.

The charity is already helping to shape the direction of bereavement services across Leeds. They are keen to hear from families who have had both good and poor service.

The charity has already made significant headway since its launch in March 2014 and is helping to shape the direction of bereavement services in and around Leeds, but it needs the support and stories of other bereaved families to strengthen its case and build a true picture of what services and support are available currently and where improvements need to be made. They are keen to hear from families who have had both good and poor service.

Elliot Kerslake passed away suddenly and unexpectedly aged just 2.5 years old and the Kerslakes were left like many Yorkshire families to come to terms with their devastating loss and try to raise their remaining two children alone without any appropriate professional support or guidance, an experience which compounded their grief and led them to vow to support others in the same situation.

If families feel that they could talk about their experiences they should get in touch with Fiona Fylan at Brainbox Research on 0113 238 0157 or email fiona@brainboxresearch.com.

More details about the charity at www.elliotsfootprint.org.