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Monday, 13 February 2017
Page: 719

Mr LLEW O'BRIEN (Wide Bay) (13:53): In 2012 a good friend of mine, Helen Garrett, was leading a normal life, happily raising her two children, Jake and April. In March of that year, through circumstances beyond anyone's control, the Garrett family was struck by the most heartbreaking tragedy, when 12-year-old Jake was taken from them as a result of an accident at the family home. In 2013, about a year after Jake's passing, Helen's love for her son and concern for those experiencing the loss of a child saw her start the Jake Garrett Foundation. The Jake Garrett Foundation was established with the aim of supporting families who are dealing with the burden of losing a child. The foundation is Australia's only charity whose main purpose is to raise funds for children's funerals.

As well as providing specific grief support material for parents, siblings and grandparents, Helen and her team provide the difficult but very valued service of taking hand, foot and fingerprint sculptures which can be framed or turned into jewellery to the parents' requirements. Since commencing, the Jake Garrett Foundation has helped over 500 families and raised many hundreds of thousands of dollars to help pay for the funerals of children. I commend the tireless work of Helen Garrett and her team and encourage people to visit the Jake Garrett Foundation website and donate to this very worthy charity.