A Ramsgate teenager has been praised for a ‘wonderful’ act of kindness after she helped a complete stranger.
Mariah Challis, 18, went out of her way to check and let a mum know the grave of her son at Ramsgate Cemetery was undamaged after vandalism was reported at the site yesterday (September 23).
Many worried residents checked the graves of loved ones after a warning was issued on social media that a group of youths were removing items and hitting headstones with a lump of wood.
Former Ramsgate resident Jill Williams spotted the post in the New Thanet Chat facebook group but was unable to check her son’s grave as she has now moved to the Isle of Skye.
This is when East Kent College student Mariah stepped in and offered to go and check the grave at the same time as making sure the resting place of her mum was undisturbed.
Not only did Mariah and younger sister Courtney, 17, carry out the checks but they used facebook live so Jill could see her son’s grave for herself.
‘Peace of mind’
In a thank you message Jill said: “After reading about the vandalism at Ramsgate Cemetery I wrote a post saying that I hoped my son’s resting place had not been targeted. I now live on the Isle of Skye so had no way of seeing for myself if my son’s grave was ok.
“Just after I posted this I was contacted by a young girl called Mariah Challis who offered to go and see what my son’s grave was like and whether it was one that had been vandalised. I have never met or spoken to Mariah online before, she was a complete stranger to me.
“Mariah asked me to message her and a while later she face-timed me. She was at the cemetery with her sister asking for directions to my son’s grave. She also took the time to show me my son’s grave and, thankfully, it was as it should have been.
“Mariah also offered to keep a check on the grave every time she went to her relative’s grave. If there was a Thanet award for kindness (Mariah) deserves to win it. (She) enabled an elderly lady to have peace of mind and feel happy.”
‘We know what it is like to lose someone you love’
Mariah said she was simply ‘doing the right thing.’
She said: “As we have lost our mum and my sister has also lost a baby through miscarriage, we know what it’s like to lose someone we love. I thought I would do the right thing and help this lovely lady out.
“The lady lives so far away that I thought as I was going there I would check her son’s grave too.
“My older sister Nikita had tagged me in the post about Ramsgate Cemetery were our mum is buried, asking me to go and check mum’s grave. I was on my way there when I saw a lovely lady post a comment and so I replied saying I would go and have a look.”
A Kent Police spokesperson said enquiries are ongoing to establish exactly what items have been damaged.
Anyone with information can call police on 101 and quote reference 23-1110.