Family of dead schoolgirl Jessica Mathers build Deptford charity base in her memory (From News Shopper)
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Family of dead schoolgirl Jessica Mathers build Deptford charity base in her memory
THE family of a young girl killed by a car in Welling five years ago has found a way to remember her.
Jessica Mathers, a Bexley Grammar School pupil, was just 13 when she was killed after being hit by a Suzuki Vitara in Welling Way in March 2007.
The accident happened as Jessica, of Hardy Road, Blackheath, and a group of her friends crossed the road on their way to a slumber party.
Her grief-stricken parents Jannet and Stephen Mathers, along with Jessica's sister Anna, now 22, found some comfort from a group called The Compassionate Friends (TCF), which supports bereaved parents and their families after a child dies.
Now the Mathers have said thank you by setting up Jessica's Trust Foundation, which will support TCF and south east London homeless charity, Bench Outreach.
The family have bought and renovated an old pub for both charities to use as a joint base.
Mrs Mathers told News Shopper: "After losing a child you are in such a state of shock but it sort of wears off in a few weeks and then it just feels like being stabbed in the heart with knives a lot of the time.
"You feel very cut off from ordinary life and having other bereaved parents to talk to just makes you feel you are not going mad like you think you are."
What was once the Osborne Arms, in King Street, Deptford, has become Jessica's Heart - a name inspired by an instant messenger symbol featured in tributes posted on News Shopper's website at the time of Jessica's death.
Mrs Mathers, 49, had also a tattoo of a heart done specially and hopes other people will benefit from Jessica's Trust Foundation.
She said: "Losing a child can be a very isolating experience because it is so totally and utterly devastating, a lot of people just can’t cope with the pain.
"It’s a very individual journey and there is no rhyme or reason to it and everybody has to go through it in their own way and in their own time.
"It’s taken us a good two or three years to really function again."
For information about TCF email email@example.com or visit tcf.org.uk
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