The mother of The Wanted singer, Tom Parker, has asked Emmaus Bolton to make a bench in his memory.
Noreen Parker is holding a memorial picnic in Seven Acres from noon on Saturday 5 August, the day after what would have been her son’s 35th birthday.
Tom died in March 2022 after announcing October 2020 he had begun radiotherapy and chemotherapy following a diagnosis of stage-four glioblastoma.
Together with band members Siva, Max, Nathan and Jay, Tom sang chart-topping hits like All Time Low and Glad You Came, with a following of more than five million people on social media.
Noreen said: “Tom did a lot for charity and would have supported causes like homelessness. He was always championing people who needed help, no matter what life situation people were in. He was a patron of a couple of charities and did a midnight walk for breast cancer, so Tom would have been supportive of funds raised going to Emmaus Bolton.”
Noreen decided ask Emmaus Bolton to make the bench after learning more about the charity during visit to the new and second-hand shops off Fletcher Street to drop off donations. Emmaus Bolton supports up to 22 people with a home, work and training. This includes the opportunity to develop woodwork skills at an on site furniture-making and upcycling workshop.
Noreen said: “I knew about Emmaus Bolton because I donate items, and bought a chest of drawers. I had gone down to donate last year and noticed the woodwork near where the charity sells furniture, and one of the guys told me that the charity works together to make furniture.
“I found out more about Emmaus supporting homeless people when I ordered the bench. It’s really great that people are helped with work and accommodation by Emmaus Bolton to get their lives back together.”
Noreen ordered a bench with funds raised by Tom’s friends from his teenage years. Emmaus Bolton Projects Manager Phil and Simon, who is developing carpentry and joinery skills at the charity, will present the bench at the ceremony.
It will be officially unveiled with a plaque dedicated to Tom, and a tree will be planted in his memory followed by a singer songwriter competition at The Swan.
Noreen sad: “I have been brought up in Bolton and Tom was from Bolton, so it’s important to support a local charity that is meeting a local need and doing such vital work.
“The bench is going on Seven Acres so we wanted something made out of wood that would fit into the natural landscape. What’s been made is durable and will fit in very well.”
Emmaus Bolton Projects Manager Phil said: “Emmaus Bolton is glad to be able to help Noreen remember Tom. We always make careful note of what customers want, and we put together this bench in Tom’s memory with special care and attention, so it stands the test of time in Seven Acres and is fitting tribute to Tom.
“Emmaus Bolton is proud to be able to help the community in many different ways, providing accommodation for people with experience of homelessness, a food bank for Bolton and opportunities to progress. We hope the knowledge that funds raised will go to help others, will be of some comfort to Tom’s family, his friends in Bolton and fans of The Wanted.”
Scroll down to see the flyer inviting people in Bolton to attend the Picnic to Remember and watch a YouTube video of Tom performing Glad You Came with The Wanted.