Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Grieving Southampton mum offered nursery place for dead son

Baby Hadley Image copyright Rowan Leach
Image caption Baby Hadley died in September 2017

A mother has received a postcard with advice on how to claim free nursery care for her son who died in 2017.

Rowan Leach, whose son Hadley died aged six weeks, said receiving the mail was like a "kick in the teeth".

It was sent by the council after a mistake by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) which had failed to take his name off the schools list.

Ms Leach said it added to "the pain that I know that he should have been starting nursery".

She had told the DWP of his death and had stopped claiming child benefit.

Image copyright Rowan Leach
Image caption Rowan Leach was left upset by the postcard

Ms Leach said: "I was shocked, it really upset me and I thought why isn't there anything that stops me from receiving this.

"I try not to think about what he would be doing now, so this is just a massive reminder.

"I'd rather just focus on the time I had with him."

A DWP spokeswoman said: "We're reviewing our processes to ensure this doesn't happen again. Our sympathies are with her and her family at this time."

Image caption Ms Leach was ordered to remove decorations from Hadley's grave for health and safety reasons

Southampton City Council, which sent the postcard, has also sent a written apology to Ms Leach over the error.

The authority had previously written to her in October ordering her to remove decorations from Hadley's grave at Hollybrook Cemetery.

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