Proud family raise money in memory of Kath

A pre-school will plant a new wild flower garden in memory of a playgroup assistant who died after a battle with cystic fibrosis in January.

Kathryn Braithwaite, who passed away age 47, was born in Toddington and had lived in Leighton Buzzard since 1994.

She was diagnosed with the genetic disorder in 2010 after a history of long-term health problems that had been put down to more manageable ailments such as asthma.

While being referred to Churchill Hospital, a specialist centre in Oxford, Kathryn also started working at Heath Barn Pre-School, on Thrift Road, as a kitchen assistant.

And her husband Chris, 57, and sons Josh, 13, and Sam, 11, have recently visited both places to make donations to support their work in her memory.

Through collections from friends and family and at Kathryn’s funeral, they raised £800 for the hospital’s cystic fibrosis unit, an extra £230 for the National Cystic Fibrosis Trust and £230 for the playgroup, who have decided to use the funds to design the new garden.

Chris, a social worker with Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “Josh, Sam and I are immensely proud of Kath and would like once again to thank all those people who made donations towards the cystic fibrosis trusts and her workplace, the Heath Barn playgroup.

“We know the beneficiaries are proud and pleased to have known Kath. Her happiest memories were those when involved with the youngsters at the playgroup.”

Both Josh, who is now at Vandyke, and Sam, a Brooklands student, attended Heath Barn, which moved to a new site at St Leonard’s School in 2011. The playgroup’s manager, Margaret Smithers, said: “It was a privilege to have known Kath. She was a delight to the children who knew her, especially those who loved playing in the sandpit under her supervision.

“The garden is something the staff know would have been just what Kath would have liked.”

Josh added: “Mum had a big heart and loved us and all her nephews and nieces. It will be nice to know that other children will enjoy a nature garden because of her.”