WALES: I hope to help others cope with child loss.
A POPULAR singer who lost her teenage daughter to meningitis is to take to the stage to help other families through their suffering.
Eleri Woolford's daughter Lisa died suddenly of the illness while in university almost three years ago.
And now the Eisteddfod winner is to headline a special fundraising evening for parents and their severely ill children.
The concert, in aid of Hope House Children's Hospices, will take place at Rhyl's Pavilion Theatre next Saturday, September 30.
As well as a performance by Eleri
herself, there will be appearances by Annette Bryn Parri, Cr Y Traeth, Cr Rhos Orpheus, Eleri Owen, Aeron Gwyn Jones, Dewi Wyn and Dylan Cernyw.
Last night, Eleri, of Ruthin, said she wanted the show to give a little joy to other families whose children were suffering.
The idea came as a tribute to Lisa, who died in November 2003 while at Loughborough University, only hours after falling ill. Eleri, 47, said: "I lost Lisa from meningitis more than two years ago and it affected us all very much as a family.
"Losing a child suddenly is something truly horrible, and it made me think of other families who were losing their children over a long period of time.
"I just started thinking how my loss could help other people through their own loss."
Eleri, originally from Rhosllanerchrugog near Wrexham, decided to use her music contacts to organise a full charity event.
Eleri, who works at the county clerk's office at Denbighshire County Council, first started singing aged 14 at Ruthin Castle, where her parents Ena and Bernard ran the medieval banquets nights.
After a break, she started singing in 2001, when she competed in the National Eisteddfod in Denbigh.
In 2004, she won the soprano solo in the National Eisteddfod, and finished second in the competition last year.
She also won the vocal solo at this year's Llangollen International Eisteddfod.
Eleri contacted musician friends Gwen and Rhys Jones of Prestatyn, and the first steps of organising the concert were made.
Eleri, who has two other children, Dylan, 20, and Rachel, 18, said: "I have had a lot of help from friends and businesses and I'm very grateful.
"Hope House in Conwy just felt like the right place. I wanted to do something that can give children and their families enjoyable memories for a long time.
"The concert is bringing together people who have really made a name for themselves and it is not very often you would get so many of these people together in one place.
"I would say it's definitely not an evening to be missed."
The charity evening starts at 7.30pm on Saturday, September 30. Tickets cost pounds 10 and are available from Rhyl Pavilion Theatre on 0870 330 00 00
Eleri Woolford is holding a concert in memory of her late daughter Lisa who died of meningitis Picture: RICHARD WILLIAMS