We were honoured and privileged to have been asked to make a bench in Tom’s memory by his mum Noreen, and hear her story about his charity work and her life after losing him. Tom has always supported local charities, so it was nice for Noreen to think of Emmaus as one she wanted to help.

Ordering the bench

Firstly, she came into our main charity shop and asked if we could make a bench. I asked what design she would like and showed her a couple of pictures of what she might want for the design. We discussed making a mix of two designs, the main style being made up largely of the design we call our garden seat.

Noreen said it was going outside, so we needed to make it out of pressurized wood and make it durable, she said she would add a finish. We gave her a price, and she said the lads who knew Tom were going to fundraise for it. Noreen wanted it completing a couple of months prior to the event, so it was all glued and screwed in 10 days. Then some of Tom’s friends came and collected it.

Companion Simon and Projects Manager Phil stand next to the bench presented to Tom's mum Noreen Parker at Seven Acres in Bolton

Making fitting tribute

The bench went to the country park Seven Acres, which is where Tom and his friends used to hang out when they were younger. On the day it was fitted a lot of people commented and said it was a nice bench that fitted in well to the country park.

I was gutted that we couldn’t get to the Picnic To Remember for Tom Parker because the event was rained off at Seven Acres. I would have liked to have been a part of the picnic to remember Tom, and to show our support for Tom’s mother Noreen, his friends and fans of his band. It’s good the singer-songwriter competition went ahead in the Swan, so people could commemorate Tom in another way.

A place to remember Tom

I have heard of The Wanted and as a young boy band, I can see why they had millions of fans. It’s such a shame Tom’s life was cut short. I hope the bench will be of some comfort to Noreen and it will be used by the people he knew to sit on and remember him for many years to come.

Pictured are companion Simon and Projects Manager Phil Urmston presenting the bench after the Picnic To Remember to Noreen Parker at Seven Acres. Visit here to find out more about how The Workshops help people develop skills and the confidence to progress.