Sons buy mum a funeral with neighbourly Sheffield spirit

Neighbours in one city neighbourhood have raised more than �3,000 to help three brothers pay for a funeral for their mother, who died of cancer. From left to right, brothers Kyle, Jamie, Jordan, with mum Michelle  and grandma Kathleen
Neighbours in one city neighbourhood have raised more than �3,000 to help three brothers pay for a funeral for their mother, who died of cancer. From left to right, brothers Kyle, Jamie, Jordan, with mum Michelle and grandma Kathleen
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Three sons who could not afford their mum’s funeral costs have been handed £3,000 after an ‘amazing’ neighbour stepped in.

Brothers Jamie, Jordan and Kyle Ball, of Crookes, had no money to pay for a funeral when their mother Michelle died of cancer earlier this month, aged 57.

Olivia Cousins launched a fundraising campaign after her neighbours lost their mum and could not afford a funeral for her

Olivia Cousins launched a fundraising campaign after her neighbours lost their mum and could not afford a funeral for her

Jamie, aged 19, said he and his twin brothers, 20, were ‘devastated’ to lose their mother following an 18-month battle with cancer.

But on top of the grief, the brothers had no cash to pay for a funeral as Michelle had no life insurance.

Jamie, who studies at the University of Sheffield, said:“We were so devastated to lose our mum. To be honest, we were grieving and I don’t think any of us even faced up to thoughts of arranging her funeral.”

But luckily for the lads, neighbour Olivia Cousins, 22, started a fundraising campaign on their behalf.

Jamie Ball with mum Michelle

Jamie Ball with mum Michelle

Olivia, who has lived next door for 10 years, dropped letters to houses in Crookes and launched a Crowdfunding campaign online.

She said: “I knew that Michelle had no insurance and the boys definitely don’t have enough money to pay for a funeral. I just thought, ‘What if that was my mum?’ and knew I had to do something to help them out.

“We have known each other for a long time. I was really upset when Michelle died, she was a great woman and she deserves a proper send-off.”

In a matter of weeks Olivia’s efforts have raised £2,588 online. The Crookes community have also rallied round to donate an additional £1,170.

Jamie said: “I am very surprised at how much has been donated – it really means a lot to us. We are so grateful to Olivia – she really is amazing. I would like to thank everybody who has donated.

“It’s great that we will be able to give mum the send-off she deserves.”

Olivia also sent her thanks to everybody that has given money.

She said: “I am really surprised at the amount, it says a lot about how generous people can be.

“But this is still a difficult – and funerals are expensive – so I’d urge people to donate any money they can to help the boys out.”

To donate, visit: crowdfunding.justgiving.com/olivia-cousins

Anyone who knew Michelle is invited to the wake at Crookes Working Mens Club at 12.45pm tomorrow.

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