Westlab Hero April 2019 - Cherry Jackson
After tragically losing her daughter, Georgia, to suicide in 2017, Cherry decided to hold a women's football tournament in memory of Georgia's love of football, and raised an astonishing £10,000 for Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SOBS)
We interviewed Cherry to learn more about her inspiring story:
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Cherry, I’m a mum and I work full time. I live with my partner Robin, my son Freddy and our dog Ellie, in Hertfordshire.
What inspires you?
I lost my beautiful daughter, Georgia, to suicide on 4 December 2017. She was 21 years old and studying at Brighton University. To lose my child this way has been devastating, but I have found some solace by continuing to follow Georgia’s love of football. Georgia, had played football since the age of eight, and continued to play all the way through to University.
Seeing how readily all her friends are coming together to take part again, gives me a purpose to continue to ensure Georgia’s name will be spoken about. The businesses and individuals who have donated to the event, allows us to hold this event and continue to try and speak more openly about suicide to a varied audience.
We hope to raise funds again for SOBs, but this time we would also like to raise some funds for Sawbridgeworth football club, which runs entirely on the support of volunteers, players and spectators.
Georgia gained so much confidence through her love of football and this was largely down to playing at her local club. We would like to help her local football club continue to offer their facilities and encourage other girls and women to play.
Why do you want to help others?
If our event helps just one person open up and talk about their feelings, then our work would mean so much. To know that this might mean something to someone else, has helped me to understand the value that comes from helping people.
What's the most rewarding part of what you do?
It never ceases to amaze me, how generous, kind and thoughtful businesses and individuals are that have donated. When I have approached them, most are only too happy to support us and they always write back with some lovely words of encouragement.
What's the most challenging part?
The planning for weeks up to the event to ensure everything comes together on the day. Last year we had 2 hours in the morning to erect marquees and set everything up. We have learnt so much from last year, but planning is definitely key to making the day a success.
Tell us about a highlight so far?
Seeing all the women on the pitch, all wearing brightly coloured tops with Georgia’s initials on. Which is now our logo for future events.
What do you hope to achieve through your work?
Whilst raising money is important, I hope we can continue to hold an annual women’s football tournament in memory of Georgia.
If you could share one piece of advice what would it be?
Form a committee of like-minded people and minute everything at regular meetings. Make sure you utilise people’s skills accordingly. Take all offers of help.
For those wanting to know a bit more, where can they find out about your organisation?
Our event is called Playing for Georgia and we have a face book page @PlayingforGeorgia
Do you know someone who is a #westlab hero? we would love to hear from you. Please message us with the persons full name and the reason why they are an inspiration to you.