Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Burns unit campaign launched in memory of Penistone brothers

Claire Throssell and her sons Jack and Paul Sykes Image copyright Other
Image caption Claire Throssell's sons Jack and Paul Sykes died following a house fire in October 2014

A mother whose two sons were killed in a house fire started deliberately by their father has launched a campaign to raise money for burns victims.

Jack and Paul Sykes, aged 12 and nine, died when their father Darren, 44, set fire to the property in Penistone.

Their mother, Claire Throssell, is aiming to raise money for a new paediatric burns unit.

Builders in the South Yorkshire town are taking part in a naked calendar as part of the fundraising.

'Raise awareness'

Speaking about the campaign, Ms Throssell said: "Losing the boys was utterly devastating. My world was destroyed and the grief I suffered and still feel consumes me every day.

"But I refuse to let my children's death be in vain."

She said it was the community spirit shown by people in Penistone which helped her carry on.

"[They] lifted me and carried me on their shoulders, just as gently as they carried the boys into the church for their final farewell," she added.

Following the fire in October 2014, local tradesmen, some of whom took part in the calendar, gave up their time to help rebuild the house.

Other members of the community also helped out.

Image caption The calendar will raise money for a new paediatric burns unit

Project manager, Ged Brearley, 46, who coordinated the house being renovated, said: "I'm humbled to be part of a community that willingly gave up their time to help."

He said as well as raising money, the idea for the calendar was to raise awareness of the Heads Together Barnsley Charitable Trust.

An inquest into the boys' deaths heard they had been lured to their father's home with a new model train set before Sykes, who had recently separated from Ms Throssell, set fire to the building.

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