Levi’s Angels spread their wings

The family of Levi Star are opening a bereavement drop-in centre in Wakefield. It will offer counselling and therapy and is the only centre of its kind in the district.'Vicky and Val Ringer

The family of Levi Star are opening a bereavement drop-in centre in Wakefield. It will offer counselling and therapy and is the only centre of its kind in the district.'Vicky and Val Ringer

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The family of a six-year-old boy who died of a brain tumour have set up a drop-in centre for bereaved adults.

People struggling with the loss of family members will be able to get help at Levi’s Angels Bereavement Support Drop-in Centre.

Levi Ringer.

Levi Ringer.

It has been set up in memory of six-year-old Levi Ringer, who died in 2006, and will offer drop-in support, one-to-one counselling and group sessions.

Levi’s mum Vicky Ringer, of Stanley, said: “The drop-in centre will provide people with a safe place to grieve in their own way, a place to simply be, a place to find hope, develop coping strategies and access support.”

A £9,700 grant from the Big Lottery Fund Awards for all Programme has been used to set up the centre at Levi’s House, Charlotte Yard, off Charlotte Street in Wakefield.

It has been set up as a 12-month pilot project by Levi’s Star, a charity set up in Levi’s memory which has raised thousands of pounds to provide grants for children with brain tumours.

Miss Ringer said the centre, which is separate to the charity, would help grieving families who were struggling to find support.

She said: “From running the charity we have come across quite a few grieving families who have had similar experiences.

“You feel completely lost and I remember trawling the internet for some support.”

Holistic therapies like massage will be offered at the centre, which will be open from 10am-3pm, Monday to Thursday, from October 20.

Miss Ringer said: “It’s just being able to be kind to yourself and relax when bereavement is really stressful and you are really down. It can have therapeutic benefits.”

There will also be a memory wall where people can leave messages to lost loved ones.

Lyn Cole, Big Lottery Fund deputy director for England, said: “Levi’s Star does extremely valuable work supporting the families of children affected by brain tumours.

“Expanding to support bereaved adults will see this small charity with a huge heart providing help to many more people”

Volunteers are also needed for the drop-in centre. To find out more call Miss Ringer on 07971 932610 or e-mail levisstar@btinternet.com