The Rochelle & Alan Bernard Fund

James, Robbie and Natasha Bernard hope to raise £50k for Norwood on the tenth anniversary of the deaths of parents Alan and Rochelle

The three children of a Northwood couple who died after being hit by a car ten years ago in Dorset will mark the anniversary by walking from the South Coast to London to raise money for Norwood.

Alan Bernard, 53, and wife Rochelle, 51, had been walking arm-in-arm along the road in Sandbanks, where they had a holiday home, on September 11, 2010. The motorist admitted causing death by dangerous driving and failing to complete a drink-drive test and was sentenced to seven years in prison.

“They never came home,” said Robbie Bernard, who with siblings James and Natasha will set off from Sandbanks the day after the anniversary. “The idea of walking from Bournemouth to London is doing the journey home for them.”

They have already raised £22,000 of their £50,000 target, which they want to put towards helping children dealing with trauma. They have also offered to speak about their experiences with children in similar situations.

The trio chose to back Norwood because of our work in schools, enabling them to reach out to vulnerable children.

From their own experience, they realised that “people don’t seek help in those situations”, Robbie said. “If we’re going to help young people going through this, we need to seek them out. They’re not going to come to us.”

Natasha added: “We were a really close family and my mum was my best friend. They were just really kind, generous people. They just wanted to help other people.

“And that’s why our fund is important. Because everything that happened to them was so negative and they were not negative people — they were incredibly positive.

“We wanted to use this to change the ending [of their story] to something that suits them a lot better.”

To kickstart the fund, they will be undertaking a sponsored walk from Bournemouth to London over the course of 5 days. Starting in Sandbanks where their parents were tragically killed, they will complete the journey at our Grandpa’s in Gerrards Cross &ndahs; a place full of so many special family memories.

The total distance is 105 miles and equates to an average of almost one marathon per day!

You can support their marathon walk here.

Adapted from an article published in the Jewish Chronicle