Charity ‘overwhelmed’ by response to appeal for sisters left orphaned and separated

Jacqueline Williamson, chief executive with the  Kinship Care, keeping families together centre, Carlisle Road. INLS 0815-4782MT.

Jacqueline Williamson, chief executive with the Kinship Care, keeping families together centre, Carlisle Road. INLS 0815-4782MT.

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A Derry charity who launched an urgent appeal on Friday of last week in aid of three Donegal sisters left orphaned when their mother died last month - has been overwhelmed by the response they received from members of the public.

Kinship Care, who are based at Carlisle Road in Derry, issued the appeal on behalf of Shannon (15), Amy (14) and Kayleigh (12) Alexander from Castlefinn. The girls’ mother Sharon passed away at the Donegal Hospice in November and their father passed away two years ago.

They were inundated with online and cash donations, as well as gifts for the girls and Jacqueline Williamson of the charity said in total, including Gift Aid contributions, the charity had raised in the region of £3000 for the girls.

“This wasn’t an appeal directly from Kinship Care as such, but having an understanding of what families can go through when other family members have to take on the care of a child, we decided to help.

“We were aware that this will be the first year these girls will experience Christmas without their mum and we wanted to lighten the load a little.”

Jacqueline said the charity had set an initial target of raising £1000, but by the close of Friday this had already been exceeded.

“More than £2000 was raised online. £350 was dropped into the Carlisle Road office in cash and with Gift Aid, the total will reach around £3000.

Kinship Care, in response to an appeal for help from family and friends, agreed to host an appeal to try and give the girls a Christmas to remember - for more positive reasons.

Following Sharon’s death, the girls had to give up their council house in Castlefinn and have been split up between family members to be cared for.

Amy, who has Down Syndrome, and is on a waiting list for heart surgery, is being cared for by her aunt and uncle at their home in Killygordon. Her sisters are being cared for by another aunt and uncle in Drumkeen.

“We want to say a huge thank you to the people of Derry for their generosity and support.

“Not only in this appeal, but for all the support they have given us throughout the year. We have been given so much support and the people of Derry have really taken the issue of kinship care to their hearts.”