KalliKids Sponsored Child Initiative Helps Sussex Widow

KalliKids Sponsored Child Initiative Helps Sussex Widow

A Horam Mum has spoken about how a Sponsored Child scheme helped her bond with her daughter after her husband was killed in a tragic car accident.

Kayleigh Osborne was left a widow after her husband Dan’s 4x4 Land Rover Defender hit a tree on December 29, 2014, killing him instantly.

Twenty four-year-old Kayleigh was left devastated and unsure how she would cope with her then four-week-old daughter Sophie.

Kayleigh said: “I was heartbroken. I couldn’t believe he was not going to be there anymore. We had been together since I was 16-years-old.”

“All I could think was ‘how would I cope’. I even resented Sophie. She was just four-weeks-old and I was new to being a mum. I didn’t want to have to deal with this on top of my grief.”

Dan and Kayleigh had met at Heathfield Community School. They had married in August 2013. Dan, 25, was on his way to work at DJ Osborne Family Butchers and Simply Meat in Uckfield when the crash happened on Furnace Lane.

“When the police knocked at the door to tell me all I could think was not again. I just screamed,” said Kayleigh.

Kayleigh’s 19-year-old sister, Jessica Christie-Sturges, had died two years previously in a head-on collision in Cross-in-Hand.

After Dan’s accident, Kayleigh moved in with her mum for three months. During this time she began looking at ways she could bond with Sophie.

KalliKids Sponsored Child Initiative Helps Sussex Widow

“My mum was amazing. During this time I tried different groups with Sophie. I saw Puddle Ducks swimming club had a taster trial which I went to and loved, but couldn’t afford to commit to the lessons. Someone suggested I apply for a place through the KalliKids Sponsored Child scheme. It went from there. It was an amazing opportunity for me and I was so pleased she was picked.”

KalliKids is the trusted online resource for quality – checking children’s activities and services across the UK. It represents 1400 providers and has more than 90,000 parents visiting its website for help and support with their choices.

Sponsored Child is a charitable initiative created by KalliKids to give all children an equal opportunity to take part in a quality checked activity, free of charge for a year.

In 2015 more than 80 kids across the UK were sponsored to learn new skills from swimming and playing piano, to dance, tennis, mathematics and more. In 2016 there will be more than 150 sponsorship places.

“She started learning to swim in April 2015. She goes once a week and she loves it,” said Kayleigh. “As well as it being an invaluable skill, it has been essential in helping us to bond. In the water she relies on me solely. It gives us time to be together focused on something positive and not our grief.

“Now I wouldn’t be without Sophie for anything. KalliKids and Puddle Ducks helped me overcome hurdles.”

Kayleigh will always miss and love Dan, but she is now looking to the future.

She said: “I don’t dwell on the past so much now. I am looking forward. Fourteen months since the accident and I am now looking forward. I loved Dan so much but I cannot live in the past. Sophie needs me.

“I thank KalliKids and Puddle Ducks so much for the opportunity.”

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