Widnes teacher feels uplifted after collecting gifts for Widnes Foodbank

Runcorn and Widnes World: Rachael Burke with all the gifts her family has donated to Widnes Foodbank Rachael Burke with all the gifts her family has donated to Widnes Foodbank

THE true meaning of Christmas has lifted the spirits of a Widnes bride, three weeks before her wedding.

Teacher Rachael Burke, who has been suffering from depression, decided to launch an appeal.

She texted all her family and friends inviting them to contribute gifts for Widnes Foodbank, a charity her dad, Eric, a Rotarian, is supporting.

Rachael, aged 28, of Northway, said: “I was overwhelmed with the response. We’ve gathered hundreds of pounds worth of food.

“I drove all around Widnes for three hours collecting.

“I was feeling lost and hopeless, in a vacuum. When you are depressed you feel sorry for yourself.

“This made me realise how fortunate I am to have a great family and support system. When you put your mind to something and get help from people around you it can make a massive difference.”

She said it has been a tough year for her family as they lost her nan, Lil Elson in June, and her uncle Kevin Geraghty in August.

Rachael, head of English at a Liverpool school, is now looking forward to marrying her fiance, Lawrence Russell, aged 33.

They met 10 years ago.

She said: “This is everything I ever dreamed of. I always wanted to get married in the New Year because it is a symbol of hope, optimism and a new beginning.

“I want 2014 not to be a fresh start and abandon everything from 2013, but to put a fresh look on things.

“Dickens said: ‘we are all fellow passengers to the grave’ in Christmas Carol. He wants us to live our lives with a generosity of spirit that enriches not just our own lives but those you generously give to.

“Christmas is something to be lived the whole year through.”



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