They had nine children in all, two born in Jamaica and seven in England. Cheryl was their fourth child. Oscar and Sophie had settled in Ipswich knowing there’d be work. When Cheryl was 18 she met Ryan. He was already a father and within a year they had their own child. Ryan was still only 16. Their baby was christened ‘Kieren’ at Whitton Baptist church. A few years later Ryan and Cheryl split, Cheryl took on the lions share of caring for the children. Even though her time was divided, her bond with Kieren was always tight. When he left home for university she drove him down to London. They unpacked the car, Kieren’s stereo, his clothes, his books and the pots and pans that he’d have to learn to use. Finally Cheryl handed him the last box. Inside was an envelope of money she’d saved and, carefully pressed and folded, his ‘good luck’ christening gown. Nearly 10 years later Kieren still has it safe, hanging in his wardrobe.

10 Feb 2013