The family of murdered teenager Samantha Madgin have opened a caravan retreat – a new place of escape for others whose lives have been devastated by crimes such as knife crime.

Mum Alison, sister Carly and cousin Yvonne, who set up charity Samantha’s Legacy in her memory, have now proudly opened the doors to a caravan getaway for families who have been similarly impact by serious violence.

Following a successful application to Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness’s Supporting Victims Fund to help raise much-needed funds for the project, the family is now set to welcome its first holidaying guests.

Desribed as a ‘home from home’ in a remote, comfortable setting, the caravan based at Swarland, Morpeth, is expected to welcome two or three families a month, helping them recover from their experience.

Samantha was just 18 when she was stabbed to death in Wallsend and since the tragedy in 2007, her family have worked tirelessly to educate young people about the dangers of carrying knives and have also offered their support to those who have found themselves in similar circumstances.

Alison Madgin said: “I know what the pain felt like, and I don’t want any mother, father, or family, to have to experience that but sadly from time to time they do. So, to be able to offer them quality time away from it all, to escape the reality and shock; it’s something I’m really proud of.

“Birthdays, anniversaries – it can all be so tough, so I want this caravan to be used as and when it’s needed. We’ve helped offer breaks for people struggling before. Mental health, anger, grief, even media attention – it can be very overwhelming. The benefits a break away can bring are huge and now we are able to offer this to more people – the people who need it most.”

Carly Barrett Said: ‘Since establishing Samantha’s Legacy victims of knife crime have been at the forefront of our vision. With ongoing support from friends, family, the general public and the Commissioner’s Supporting Victims Fund, I could not be more proud to see our victims retreat launch. From my own experience, I know all too well the benefits this will bring to many at such a tragic time in their lives.”

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, said: “People need somewhere like this to help them get through bad times, but not everyone has the option. Whether its quality time to process what’s happened or a change of scene, there are so many benefits to simply being able to get away from it all.

“We of course need to continue focusing our efforts on preventing crimes like what happened to Samantha from happening again, but on the devastating occasion that they do – we need to be offering the best support we can to help them cope and recover. Ongoing support – mental, practical, financial – it can all makes a difference. This retreat helps with it all and full credit goes to Samantha’s Legacy for making this happen.”

The caravan has been part-funded through the Commissioner’s Supporting Victims Fund – a fund designed to enhance the support services available to victims throughout the force area. The fund is set to re-open for Friday 23rd September, when more information will be available at

For more information about the work of Samantha’s Legacy and the Victims Retreat visit