Olivia Rae's charity wants to help you

Olivia Rae

Olivia Rae

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A WIRRAL dad who set up a youth charity in memory of his teenage daughter is looking for local projects to support.

Ken Barnett launched The Olivia Rae Foundation last year after the 17-year-old fell victim to swine flu.

He wanted the charity to reach out to voluntary groups and individuals who needed help with funding creative arts activities.

And following their first grant to help an aspiring Wirral actor continue his course at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in London, the Foundation is now on the look-out for their next project.

Ken, from Upton, said: "We were able to help a young lad complete his final year of study after a change in circumstances put his dream in jeopardy.

"So now we are trying to find other projects to support and we are being more pro-active.

"We will be working with Charlotte’s Brightside Trust on a few things they have coming up but we would urge other groups to get in touch."

Wallasey School students Olivia died in January 2011 after she contracted the H1N1 virus and a secondary bacterial infection.

But just a year later, her family announced the launch of the charity in a bid to remember her "lively and loud" spirit.

However, Ken told how grieving for his daughter became more difficult as they marked two years since her death.

He said: "The Foundation gives us all something to focus on and put our energy into but it also brings a lot of stress and work.

"The second year is a lot harder to cope with because it feels more real and it’s starting to sink in. But I’m hoping Livvy would made up with what we are doing and that it’s all in her name.

"It has been nice to connect with other parents in similar situations such as Angie Churchill because you feel you’re not alone."

In addition to their continuous fundraising, a special variety show will be held in aid of the charity on March 6 at the Floral Pavilion in New Brighton.

The Grand Charity Variety Show will feature party dup Black Lace, The Chimes and Joe Wall, among others.

For more information on the event and the Olivia Rae Foundation, visit www.oliviaraefoundation.com

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