Bigger and better for charity

The REST foundation has moved to Bond Street. Pictured left to right are Jade Williamson, Tracey Pellatt, Darren Matthews and Amanda Williamson with grandson Oscar Briggs.

The REST foundation has moved to Bond Street. Pictured left to right are Jade Williamson, Tracey Pellatt, Darren Matthews and Amanda Williamson with grandson Oscar Briggs.

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A charity set up to help those who have lost a loved one to suicide has moved into bigger premises to improve its services.

The REST (Remember Every Suicide Trauma) Foundation, founded by Amanda Williamson when her son Gary committed suicide last year, has opened the doors at its Bond Street drop-in centre.

The REST foundation has moved to Bond Street.

The REST foundation has moved to Bond Street.

Following the foundation’s move from Lytham Road, in South Shore, Mrs Williamson has more space for counselling and has installed a room for visiting children to meet Father Christmas over the festive period.

She said: “It’s a lot better for us and everything is looking up.

“It’s bigger and we have a lot more room and have set up a Santa Room for the kids with all sorts going on.

“We will be able to provide more for people but unfortunately we don’t have any sponsors.”

The new shop, at 24 Bond Street, South Shore, includes a cafe for people to speak with counsellors about issues surrounding suicide.

The shop raises money by selling items from clothes to furniture but is heavily reliant on donations from others.

Mrs Williamson set the charity up after her 24-year-old son Gary died in June 2012.

A number of South Shore businesses already support the foundation, including Taylors Fish and Chips and Bargain Booze on St Annes Road.

Mrs Williamson added: “I’ve been going there for years and they all said they would support us by taking in some of our charity boxes.

“They all know about suicide and how devastating it can be.”

Tracey Pellatt, 44, from South Shore, has volunteered in the shop for the last eight months after initially going in to the shop to speak with someone about her own problems.

She said: “A lot of things were going wrong when I was in my twenties and I’d had enough.

“This foundation has done me a lot of good and I can relate to people who come in and talk to them about their problems.

“Moving to a bigger shop has been a big boost to the charity.

“I used to keep myself to myself but this work has given me a lot of confidence.”

Anyone who would like to help REST by volunteering can speak with Mrs Williamson in the shop.

The shop is currently open during the week (except Tuesday) from 10am to 4pm and on Saturday from 10am to 2pm.

The charity does not have a phone line at the moment.

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