Peterborough mother speaks out after tragic death of son, aged 5, and campaign in his name raises over £18,000 in less than a day
Helen Blythe, took to social media yesterday (December 2) to inform people that her son Benedict has passed away suddenly after being taken ill at school earlier this week.
She described Benedict, who attended Barnack Primary School, as “wonderful” and having a “beautiful smile.”
She posted a picture and said: “This is my son, Benedict. He died yesterday, suddenly, aged 5.
“I just want everyone to know that he existed, and to see his beautiful smile and know how wonderful he was. He was such a bright spark, the kindest boy. His time with us was the greatest gift.”
On Facebook, she also posted a picture of Benedict with his cuddly toy monkey Ray with the caption: “This morning, our happy, beautiful Benedict woke up and opened his advent calendar.
“That’s the happy memory I have of him, and we will hold with us forever. Today the worst of things has happened, and the sweetest, happiest, most magical boy in the world has been taken out of our lives.
“Benedict died this afternoon, with us there holding his hand. He’s asleep now, cuddling his monkey, Ray, who will look after him.
Our hearts are broken.”
On Thursday evening, Barnack Church was open for members of the community to visit, light a candle, view a book with some photos of Benedict or just to talk.
A fundraising page has also been set up in Benedict’s memory to raise money for two places he loved, his school and The Fenland Light Railway. Just four hours after going live, the page had already received over £5000 in donations and this morning (December 3) passed the £18,000 mark.
A message on the page read: “Benedict was the sweetest, happiest, most magical boy in the world. He was confident, compassionate and so witty. He’s asleep now, cuddling his monkey, Ray, who will look after him.
“Benedict loved to learn, he loved trains and he loved his friends. He skipped into his first day of school saying ‘I wonder what I will learn today mummy? He loved visiting The Fenland Light Railway too. We will always cherish the memories of doing the things he enjoyed as a family.
“We really appreciate your support and kind words at such a tragic time. So many of you have been in contact with us, asking how you can help or how to donate. We have given a lot of thought to how you might be able to help us, our family and Benedict’s friends.
“It would help us and our family to know that other children can enjoy what he did. We would like to raise money for Barnack Primary School so that other children can learn like he loved to, and for his school friends to enjoy the things money buys. We would also like to raise money for The Fenland Light Railway which he just loved so much.
“Your kind words are enough, please don’t feel you must donate, but we hope this helps those who are asking to help. We have also set up a book with some photographs of Benedict in Barnack Church if you would like to visit, light a candle or talk.”
Helen added: “Thank you for the messages on here and text and for all of the support.
“Ben loved two things: numbers/ learning and trains.
“In his memory we’re asking for donations for the two things he loved most, for his school so that his friends can all benefit and learn and get support and for fenland light railway where we passed so many very happy hours.
“He would like that.”
The fundraising page can be found at: https://www.gofundme.com/f/benedict-blythe.