|Theo Lucas Kingsley Monk:|
|Our beautiful boy|
In memory of Theo I set up the Theo Monk Gift of Hope Heart Fund with the British Heart Foundation. Immediately following Theo’s death friends were keen to donate money in his memory, and as we initially thought the cause of death was a heart anomaly, a friend suggested giving money to the British Heart Foundation. Looking on their website I found that they had Gift of Hope Heart Funds so any giving can be personalised. Very quickly we raised over £2000, half of which was a donation from Alexander’s then primary school (The Croft Preparatory School) from the sale of Christmas cards!
In the first years after his death I held charity events and raised money for the British Heart Foundation and Theo’s school. Friends helped me to raise over £10,000 (including Gift Aid) for his Gift of Hope Heart Fund. They ran races, swam in relays and attended concerts to raise this money. The money goes towards research for childhood heart conditions. To see webpage click here.
The money raised for Welcombe Hills School bought a commemorative bench for the children to use for quiet times. It also provided an outdoor spinning wheel for the younger children to enjoy at playtimes, in the same way Theo would have enjoyed spinning the wheel!
I presented two awards to his school for primary and secondary age pupils: The Theo Monk Memorial Award for Determination. The awards are star shaped and have become known as the Theo star awards! These are awarded to two children at the end of each term, so are very well used!
More recently when Alexander left his last primary school (Dormer House School) we donated an award to that school to be given on World Book Day. This is the Alexander and Theo Monk Award for the Love of Books. Alexander loves to read books and Theo loved to be shown books. It seemed so fitting to dedicate this love to some practical use. Each year children are selected by staff and awarded a book token provided by a fund we set up in our boys’ name.
Theo has a commemorative tree at the National Memorial Arboretum. We discovered that it was possible to name trees in the Wind in the Willows area following a riverside walk at the NMA organized by the Chaplaincy at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. Edward’s Trust also have a commemorative bronze tree sculpture decorated with copper named leaves. Theo has a named leaf on this tree too. It is fitting that the Edward’s Trust memorial is opposite the site of Theo’s living tree!
All these things were done as a tribute to Theo, to remind others of him and to keep his name “alive”. However, his true legacy is having known him. I learnt so much about total love from Theo and what matters in life.
Newbold on Stour, Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire.