Rowland Brothers take very seriously their responsibility to the community of Croydon.
With the tragic increase of young lives senselessly lost to criminality and knife crime, we interviewed Tilisha Goupall, whose brother Jermaine Goupall was stabbed and murdered four years ago by gang members near their family home in Thornton Heath.
“Rowland Brothers were amazing and were so gentle and empathetic and communicated really clearly, particularly about all the details that we had no idea about’, said Tilisha. ‘They were really supportive, and their care for the wellbeing of my family was fantastic. We wouldn’t have chosen anyone else to deal with the funeral of my brother.”
Tilisha and her family were involved in making a channel 5 documentary at the same time that Jermaine was murdered.
I asked Tilisha what advice she would give to someone in the same situation that her family found themselves in.
She said, ‘We were all initially so terribly traumatised, but I would say to anyone involved in trying to help the family through the bereavement not to give up. Offers of help simply didn’t register at first because we were so devastated, but we really appreciated the help and support once we started to come through it. Don’t try and take everything on yourself; lean on your friends, family and all those offering support – especially financially -you’ll need it. Use the Rowland Brothers Foundation! Don’t let yourself become isolated. Murder is very different to a normal bereavement. The trauma, all the emotions are amplified and feel so overwhelmingly intense. You can’t sleep, sometimes the desire for revenge and the anger is simply too much to cope with. Trauma is multi-faceted and is on so many levels, such as having to face your brother’s murderers in court, the trial, and so many other things that you’re just not prepared for. You feel so utterly vulnerable. You never recover from the grief and the trauma. I’ve chosen to channel my grief into setting up the charity that I founded in Jermaine’s memory. I go into schools and tell them Jermaine’s story, If I manage to stop one young person from getting involved in knife crime then all my efforts are absolutely worth it’.
Tilisha‘s charity details can be found at: www.jfjfoundation.org