Desperate Darwen widow's funeral cash plea

Lancashire Telegraph: Nikkie with her late husband Mark Turnbull Nikkie with her late husband Mark Turnbull

A MOTHER-of-four is pleading for help to pay for her husband’s funeral after his sudden death.

Nikkie Turnbull, 27, said she was devastated after her husband Mark was found dead at their home in the early hours of Saturday.

Now the Darwen housewife has been left with a bill of £1,800 to pay for a ‘no frills’ funeral - and must find the £900 deposit by Friday.

Her family have launched a Facebook campaign to raise the money for the service and cremation.

Nikkie has been told Mark would not be entitled to a pauper’s funeral, a cremation paid for by the council’s environmental health department, because he had next of kin.

Mark, 49, known as Sparky, had suffered from a chronic lung disease, which meant he had to give up work as a car breaker in Altham.

Six months ago Mark, who has four children under the age of 10 including a six-month-old baby, was also diagnosed with a muscular back injury which restricted his movement.

His widow said: “His death was unexpected. He took his own life. His ill health got to him because he wanted to do things with the kids and go back to work. He couldn’t pick up the kids without being in pain.

“His ill health started affecting our relationship and it was just a downward spiral. We were going through tough times.

“I have to find £1,800 for the funeral - and that’s just for a basic funeral so that we can say goodbye.

“If I can’t raise the money, I’m letting the children down. They need to say goodbye to their dad.

“The funeral service have been fantastic but I don’t have that kind of money. Everyone is clubbing together to try and raise £900 by Friday, and that’s just for the deposit.

“We are asking for donations. We have opened up a group on Facebook called ‘Mark Turnbull’s funeral’ and we are asking friends and family to donate.”

So far friends and family have clubbed together and raised £200 towards the cost of his funeral.

She said some financial help towards the funeral may be available, but it would take weeks to process the payment and was not guaranteed.

The couple had been together for 11 years, and married for seven. They have four children and he also has children from previous relationships.

Nikkie, of Dean Street, said: “I’m having to pull myself together for the kids. I have told them that he has gone to heaven and that they won’t see him again. They are obviously very upset, but are being very strong.

“I am just about holding myself together. I feel like I am on autopilot. If it wasn’t for the help of everyone around me I would have crumbled by now. It doesn’t feel real. It hasn’t sunk in yet.

“He was always there to support everyone else, but he was too stubborn to ask for help himself.

“He was a caring, family man and a cheeky chappie. He was the life and soul of the party and will be sadly missed.”

His funeral is on Monday, February 25, at Pleasington Crematorium from noon followed by a wake.

Rashid Iqbal, funeral director at St Peter Street funeral service in Blackburn, said: “We don’t do any frills and we don’t push any extras. We try to minimise the cost of the funeral for the grieving family.

“We will help them as much as we can but it’s great that others are helping.”

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