Holloway bereavement centre opens in memory of late son Kevin

A CENTRE for bereaved parents and families has opened in Holloway.

The Kevin Richards Foundation offers weekly support for grieving relatives, as well as a home cooked meal, fitness classes, computer sessions and an opportunity to meet other people who have experienced a similar loss.

It was set up by Alf and Beverly Richards in memory of their late son, and operates every Friday at the Baptist Church Hall in Hilldrop Road.

Jeremy Corbyn, MP for Islington North, said: “To lose someone so young and vibrant is a terrible tragedy, but what is being done here is a great credit to the family.

“Support for bereavement is so important, but it is often only there immediately following the loss. I know that it is often much needed months, or even years later, which is why this centre offers such a lot to our community.

“I am happy to lend my support to this centre in my constituency, and wish them good luck.”

Kevin Richards died in April last year at the age of 33 following a motorbike accident as he was practising for The Knowledge. He also helped coach youth football teams near his home in Leytonstone, and supported young musicians from Potential Productionz in Finsbury Park.

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His parents live in Ilford, but set up the foundation at the Holloway church where they worship to provide a place where bereaved parents and families can feel comfortable.

Mr Richards said: “When you lose your son suddenly in a tragedy it hurts. It knocks you cold. It makes you stupid. Your legs don’t work. You don’t know where to turn or what to do.”

Councillor Jessica Asato, who represents St George’s ward, in which the centre is based, performed the official opening for the centre last month. She said: “This is an example of how the spirit of the person who is lost can drive those of us who are left. The loss of a much-loved son has led Alf and Bev to set up this important centre which can help support this community.”

The foundation has been running for just six month, and has already acquired a total of 20 regular members, with membership still growing. Mr Richards said: “After the funeral, Beverly said she needed to do something. Now we have opened this centre we want to go further, to help more people from all communities.

“We attract everyone from young children with their families during school holidays to some people in their 80s.”

The centre also provides sessions for members, and also celebrates birthdays among group members.

It is open every Friday from 11am to 3pm.