A charity devoted to supporting parents and siblings after the death of a young family member has been named as The Beacon’s Charity of the Year.

You Raise Me Up was the popular choice of retailers in the shopping centre. During 2024, all events will make a contribution towards the much-loved charity.

Mark Powell, The Beacon General Manager, welcomed the decision by retailers to throw their weight behind the Eastbourne-based charity.

“The team at You Raise Me Up have been very active in The Beacon and around the town. They have a great profile and I am delighted that we can support them this year,” Mark said. “I look forward to working with them on events and promotions and I hope we can add a useful amount to their funds.”

You Raise Me Up was founded in 2011 by Jane and Fraser Brooks following the sudden death of their daughter Megan at the age of 17. Jane and Fraser wanted to reach out and support other families who had been through a similar experience.

At this time, there were no organisations to support grieving parents who had lost a child aged 16-25. The charity offered assistance with a counselling service for family members and any other support that was needed.

“The charity has widened its geographic coverage and now covers the whole of Sussex, Surrey, Kent,” administrator Deb Harrington explained. “Sadly, we are busier than ever, but we are delighted to be able to offer support to family members and close friends going through this unimaginable grief and pain.”

Jade O’Connor, marketing and events, said that You Raise Me Up has helped hundreds of grieving families. “We have supported 400 families and 3,000 individuals over the last 12 years. We operate a 24-hour phone line so that we are always available to talk and give support.”

The charity has no waiting lists and prides itself on seeing people immediately. It opened a café in Polegate in 2015 and moved into its current High Street location in 2017. The café has proved to be a place where people can go for company, conversation or just a great cup of coffee and a slice of cake!

You Raise Me Up is entirely funded through charitable donations and fundraising events, so the link up with The Beacon retailers is vital.

“We are so grateful that the shops are supporting us this year, it means such a lot to us,” said Deb Harrington. “We have had great weekends in The Gather unit at The Beacon and this has really helped raise our profile.”

Retailers have already started throwing their weight behind the charity. Ninja Arena has given the charity free family passes, and burger and pizza restaurant Chuck & Blade has promised to support an event this year.

Visit their website at www.youraisemeup.co.uk