Mother who lost son raises thousands after channelling grief into fundraising

Video report by ITV News Meridian's Charlotte Wilkins

Three months ago, we began our search for the ITV Meridian Fundraiser of the Year, as part of the Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Awards.

Hundreds of you nominated wonderful fundraisers from your communities. All this week, we will tell you about our region's finalists and on Friday (October 1), we'll be crowning one of them as the Meridian winner.

When Amanda Rock's 13-year-old son, Harry, passed away suddenly she felt like she had lost all purpose, but a charity called You Raise Me Up cradled her and helped her face each new day.

By channelling her grief in to fundraising, Amanda has now raised thousands of pounds and helps other families who are going through the same thing.

Harry Rock, Amanda's bright and caring son, passed away following a tragic accident while exercising at home.

Amanda said: "When this happened I really thought my role was finished, I felt very empty and very lost. Harry, as I said, was my everything, so I really did think that what was my point in being here. It was like I was an old dusty book. That was being slammed shut."

Credit: Amanda Rock

In those very early days weeks, months, Amanda says she was cradled delicately by the charity You Raise Me Up

"They listened to me, they guided me and with counselling they got me putting one foot in front of the other again."

The charity helps bereaved families who have lost a young adult. It runs a community cafe in Polegate in Sussex where families can go for support.

"I had to use what I was carrying, the pain which is indescribable and the devastating grief. That in itself actually became the purpose."

Amanda started organising fundraising events. She created Bears Blessings to mark what would have been Harry's 18th birthday. 

"Bear was Harry's nickname from when he was a baby as he used to growl. So I put together Bears Blessings so we could continue to bless others and share his love."

Amanda has also volunteered for the Beachy Head chaplaincy team, giving hope to others who may be in crisis.

Harry had a vast Lego collection Credit: Amanda Rock

Amanda also took the difficult decision to auction Harry's much loved lego collection, raising money not only for the charity which helped her through her darkest of days, but for others which were close to Harry's heart.

She has since raised £10,000 and has now been nominated for a Pride of Britain award.