September 1, 2023

BEAR Scotland, the Scottish trunk road maintenance company has donated £1,000 to Brightest Star, a charity dedicated to aiding bereaved parents and siblings who have experienced the devastating loss of a child.

Founded in 2013 by Arlene and Derek Kennedy of Renfrewshire, Brightest Star emerged from a deeply personal tragedy: the sudden loss of their five-year-old son, Jack. While the medical professionals provided invaluable support during their difficult time, the Kennedys discovered a lack of ongoing assistance for bereaved families. Motivated by their own experience, they took it upon themselves to create a support network for those enduring a similar experience.

Brightest Star was nominated to benefit from a financial boost from BEAR Scotland by M80 DBFO Asset Manager, Laura Gray, as part of the company’s ongoing commitment to supporting local charities. Laura used to know Jack’s grandmother and recognises the impact the charity has on families.

Reflecting on the motivation behind Brightest Star, Arlene and Derek recalled the challenges they encountered on the day of Jack’s passing, including the need to transfer hospitals from Glasgow to Edinburgh. These experiences inspired them to fund a dedicated family A&E ambulance in West Glasgow, ensuring that no parent has to spend their child’s last moments away from them.

Arlene Smith, Brightest Star Founder said: “This is an amazing donation and will help us have more days out with the people we support and offer more memory boxes, which are stocked in hospitals throughout Scotland. This donation will go towards helping us be able to help people in their worst moment.”

Iain Murray, BEAR Scotland’s Managing Director said: “Brightest Star is a fantastic charity that has been set up on the back of real heartache. It’s amazing the support being offered to families in the most traumatic of times.

“We are very proud to be able to support such worthy regional and local causes where BEAR Scotland operates throughout Scotland.”