Memorial bench dedicated to young lives cut short in Sheffield suburb of Beighton

A woman whose brother died aged just 20 has launched a memorial bench dedicated to young people whose lives were cut short in Sheffield.

By Jacob Waters
Friday, 17th December 2021, 11:53 pm

Suzanne Lister’s brother Keith Cooper Jr was diagnosed with a rare cancer of the oesophagus when he was 20. Doctors gave him weeks to live, and after three months he tragically passed away.

Twenty seven years later, his memory still lives on through his family.

Mrs Lister, 54, recently left her job teaching families from deprived areas how to be better parents.

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Suzanne Lister on the memorial bench which is dedicated to her brother and other young people from Beighton, Sheffield, whose lives were cut short

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She said: “Instead of receiving leaving gifts somebody suggested that money could be put into a pot for a special cause, so I started doing that.”

After struggling to choose which charity the money should be donated to, Suzanne decided to pay for a community memorial bench dedicated to all the young people from Beighton who, like her brother, have had their lives cut short.

The bench has been placed at Beighton Miners Welfare, on High Street, Beighton, by the bowling green, and it is available to visit during their opening hours.

Currently there are four plaques on the bench.

One is for a young man who Mrs Lister went to school with. He went out celebrating the birth of his new child but in the morning he never woke up.

At the time, doctors thought it to be an adult form of cot death, which is now understood to be Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS).

Mrs Lister’s hope is that more plaques can be added and it can become a communal bench where anybody can go and remember a lost loved one.

She said: “Everyone in Beighton should be remembered, I think the young people in particular.

“I’ve had comments saying how amazing it is and how much it’s meant to them that there’s a place that they can sit and can go and think about them”.

If you know of a young person who passed away in the Beighton area and would like a plaque added to the bench in their memory, please contact Owen Trophies, located at Crystal Peaks shopping centre.