Family out to raise money as tribute to Michael

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TOMORROW marks the first anniversary of the day Kim Sweeney was given the news every mother dreads – that one of her children was dead.

Her soldier son Michael was killed by a bomb blast while on his first tour of Afghanistan patrol with the Coldstream Guards.

She and her family – husband Michael and younger son Sean – have been doing their best to ensure something good comes out of the worst time of their lives ever since, however.

One year on, they intend to keep up their good work in memory of the 19-year-old by raising thousands of pounds for a military charity.

It was a year ago tomorrow that Michael was killed by an improvised explosive device while on patrol in Helmand Province.

And it was later that month that his family learnt how much his sacrifice meant to the people of his home town after more than 1,000 mourners lined the streets of Blyth to pay their respects as the teenager was laid to rest.

His mum Kim, 40, said she took great comfort from the number of people who turned out to support her family.

She said: “They are still continuing to support us now, and it’s nice to know they are supporting other soldiers.”

Despite their heartbreak, the Sweeney family almost immediately set about raising money for the Army Benevolent fund to help injured soldiers and their families.

They raised an impressive £12,000 last year, and having already collected £2,000 so far this year, they are hoping to top that figure.

n Full story – Pages 26 and 27