Charity launched in memory of Kingsclere toddler who drowned in garden pond (From Basingstoke Gazette)
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Charity launched in memory of Kingsclere toddler who drowned in garden pond
A NEW charity set up in memory of a Kingsclere toddler who drowned in a garden pond has been officially launched at a special event.
The Rodney Lawrence Trust celebrated the launch with an all-day fete, followed by an evening concert in Kingsclere’s Holding Field.
The trust, which was set up in April and gained charity status in June, was founded by the parents of three-year-old Rodney, who died in May 2010.
The youngster, from Union Lane, drowned in a five-foot deep pond at the back of his house.
His parents Marie Lawrence, 33, and partner John Lawrence, 40, set up the charity with friend Maria Meredith, and Rodney’s uncle, Craig Gundry.
“The aim was to set something up for the children of the village,” said mum-of-four Marie. “There isn’t a lot of support out there for children in the village.”
The trust will provide funding support for people under the age of 16 who apply for a grant.
Ms Meredith, who works at Busy Bees Pre-school which looked after Rodney, said: “We want something positive to come out of something so tragic.”
Both said they were “overwhelmed” by the level of support.
More than 70 business and individuals have already donated to the charity, including Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber who gave an undisclosed amount to the cause.
“We are just so grateful to everybody that has helped,” said Mrs Lawrence. The launch event had stalls and giant inflatables for children to enjoy, as well as food and drinks.
Throughout the day, there was live music inside a giant tepee and in the evening there was a sold-out live gig.
For more information about the trust, visit rodneylawrencetrust.co.uk.
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