Whiston Mum to Raise £1m in Honour of Murdered Son

By on Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Gay teen Michael CauserA Whiston woman whose gay teenage son was murdered in the summer of 2008 has pledged to raise £1 million for a hostel to help gay and lesbian youth.

Marie Causer’s son, Michael (pictured), then 18, was brutally attacked as he walked home from a house party in the St John’s area of Huyton. He died in hospital a week later, having never regained consciousness.

A man was sentenced to life imprisonment for his murder in 2009. The Causer family and their supporters believe killer James O’Connor targeted Michael because he was gay.

In 2011, parents Marie and Mike set up a registered charity, the Michael Causer Foundation, to provide housing and support to at-risk lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) young people in the North West.

According to an article in the Liverpool Echo earlier this week, the funds raised immediately following Michael’s death were intended to help the Causers, as their grief had forced them to quit their family-run business. But they lived on savings, and used the money to start the charity instead.

Now Marie, 52, has announced plans to build a hostel, saying she’s been moved by the stories of young people rejected by families and communities for being gay.

“It was when some people contacted me saying they had nowhere to go that I had the idea,” she told the Echo. “I went on holiday in Torquay and there was a lovely chap there who was gay, but he couldn’t come out, because his parents were Christians.

“I was with my friend Pauline and said, ‘Would you like us to tell them?’ and he said, ‘No, I’ll just run away, get a train to London.’ I just thought, How sad.”

The hostel will work in partnership with social services to provide temporary refuge for LGBT people aged 18 to 25.

Asked whether she would still be doing charity work if her son hadn’t been gay, Marie told the Echo: “Michael used to call the bingo and do events for charity. So, on some level, I’m helping because he would.”

She described Michael as a young man whose “personality outshone everything,” and said she had met many young people who reminded her of her son. “If I give up,” she said, “who is going to be there for them?”

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