September 29th, 2016

Brother’s story inspires Salvation Army fund-raising effort

Updated: 4:32 pm, May 07, 2015

A MUM who watched her brother spiral into alcohol abuse is hosting a charity night in his memory.

Beryl Atkins could do nothing to help brother Gary Jeffries, who died last year aged just 44 after a spell on the streets.

He had hit the bottle when both the pair’s mum and brother died and when he finally accepted help from the Salvation Army – who found him find a place to stay – it was too late and he died of pneumonia in February.

Beryl is now hosting a charity night on Friday, June 13 in a bid to raise £2,000 for the charity.

“When my mum died he hit the drink,” she told the Observer.

“It’s soul destroying to watch when you’ve grown up with that person and can’t get through to them because they’re drunk.

“He wouldn’t even know what time of day it was,he’d turn up at my house at 3am because I was the only person in the family whose address he knew.

“It doesn’t matter how much money you give them because they spend it on drink. I felt like I was feeding the habit so I would take him homemade food instead. But he would just get his dole money and then go straight to the off licence.”

Gary, who suffered from dyslexia, had struggled to hold down a job before the family tragedies but had managed the odd bit of work including doing people’s gardens.

He had married for a short period but it was only at the funeral when family members found out he had a child.

“Obviously it was a real shock for everyone,” Beryl added.

“Maybe if he had known that it might have helped him turn everything around sooner?”

Beryl’s charity night will be held at the Brooklands Grange Hotel on Friday, June 13. It features top Manchester psychic Dee Rendall and a raffle including an overnight night stay for two at the Holyhead Road venue along with dinner for two and wine all courtesy of manager Luke Truslove.

Merchandise from Holbrooks’ Ride Bike Shop, a meal for four and wine from the Nugget Pub in Coundon and a free personal reading worth £35 are also available with much more.

Any businesses wanting to donate to the raffle can contact Beryl on 07944 970009 along with anyone interested in tickets, which are priced at £10.

Beryl Atkins, pictured with son George, is hosting a charity night next week in aid of the Salvation Army. Inset above is Gary Jeffries (s)

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