Heartbroken family of Chesterfield dad and local hero issue plea to help teenage son pay for funeral
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Lee Kemp, 49, who donated countlessly to food banks and even risked his own life to save a young man from committing a suicide, died suddenly after suffering from a cardiac arrest just three weeks after his mother’s death.
The loving dad had been helping the Chesterfield community for years, but now his family needs support, as his death has left his teenage son facing finacial hardship.
Lee’s only son, Daniel, 18, said: “He would always listen to anything I have to say. He was very caring as a dad. He would always look out for me. He was always really proud of any of my achievements growing up.”
Daniel, who has just turned 18 and is preparing for maths, computer science and chemistry A levels at a college, has two funerals to pay for – as he does not qualify for government assistance as a full time student.
His dad’s funeral is planned for Wednesday, May 17, and the funeral of his grandma Joyce will take place on Friday, May 19.
Beth McNeice, Daniel’s step-sister, said: “Lee was very kind-hearted and willing to help anybody out. He had no money himself but always would fundraise for other people. He would always go out of his way to help others.”
She added: “We are trying to help and buy everything at the cheapest price. The Spire Funeral Services have done such a good job trying to support us. But now everything is really expensive and for that all to be left down to an 18-year-old student – it’s unreal. Something needs to be in place to help youngsters to afford a basic funeral.”
Vicky Croot, Daniel’s mum and Lee’s ex partner said: “Lee never really told anybody about his personal struggles. He was more concerned about everybody else. We are proud we are to call him family.”
She added: “We have been let down by the government so many times. There's nothing in place for an 18-year-old who is in college and loses a parent.
“No teenager should have to go through what he is currently going through right now. We know this is a hard time for everyone in the current crisis however any and all donations are gratefully received, every penny counts.
"If we receive more funds than we need, we want to donate them to another child in similar situation. We would like to set up a fund and an organisation that could help another family in this position in these terrible times where there is no help from anyone.”
Lee regularly donated food to various food banks around Chesterfield. He fundraised for Headway UK after his friend received a brain injury and held several auctions for the children's ward at Chesterfield Royal Hospital.
In 2006, Lee and his friend risked their own lives to save a young man from committing suicide and recieved a bravery award from Derbyshire Constabulary.
To donate to the fundaiser for Lee’s funeral costs click here.