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Family support facility opened in memory of murdered teen

SUPPORT: Angela Spencer

THE FIRST centre dedicated to the families of victims who have been killed has been opened in Nottingham.

Angela Spencer, 42, and John Greensmith, 46 have set up the facility after their 17-year-old son Jason Spencer was stabbed to death in March 2007.

The assailant Reuben Valentine, then also 17, was jailed for a minimum of 16 years after pleading guilty to murder.

Backed by the Ministry of Justice's Peer Support Fund, the Jason Spencer Trust centre aims to help those dealing with the loss of a loved one due to a violent crime.

The Fund awards grants to organisations that provide peer backing to murder victims.

The couple wants to provide a secure environment in the East Midlands for families to receive emotional support and advice from others who have faced similar traumatic experiences.

Mr Greensmith said: "There are a lot of people who feel frightened or apprehensive about getting help. If they come to us it's like sitting among friends.

“We have experienced a similar thing and can share our experiences. We want people to know they are not alone."

A support group was initially launched in September 2011, based at the Sherwood Community Centre.

Victims' Minister Helen Grant said: "It is absolutely right that Nottingham families who have lost loved ones to violent crime receive the expert support they so very much need and deserve.

“The Ministry of Justice is fully committed to supporting families bereaved by violent crime and by funding this centre the Jason Spencer Trust will ensure they get this support."

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