BBC Radio 4

Care for Claire

Care for Claire

Lives in a Landscape reports from Penistone, where Claire Throssell is being helped by her community after her sons were killed by their father in a house fire exactly a year ago. As well as killing his sons and himself, Darren Sykes also destroyed much of the house, lighting fires throughout the terraced home and luring his boys into the loft with the promise of a new train set. He had cancelled the home insurance before the blaze and Claire faced both the devastating loss of her sons and also the terrible reminder in a home she couldn't sell because of such extensive fire damage. Local people wanted to stand firm against such 'evil', according to a local singer and archivist, Dave Cherry, who has helped raise money. Teams of volunteers organised by Reverend David Hopkins at St John's Church and both the Rotary and 41 Clubs, have overseen the rebuilding of the home. Whilst nothing will replace her loss, Claire tells Alan Dein that such community support has helped her focus on creating a legacy for her sons. Jack, who was 12 when he died, was a promising trumpet player and his younger brother, Paul, was only nine and already showing considerable athletic talent. She has set up awards in their name and wants to ensure that their lives are remembered. The volunteer project manager is Ged Brearley, who has coordinated 480 plus volunteer hours and manages a core team of 40 through house clearance, stripping back the walls to complete rewiring, re-plastering and re-plumbing. Dave Cherry was one of the first to offer to help: "That man destroyed everything. Her house, her kids and her life. If we don't do anything then he wins. If we can help this lass then we can stop him from winning." Producer Susan Mitchell.

Duration: 28 min

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