A charity that helps local families during one of the most traumatic times in their lives has been named as the Mayor of Barnstaple’s chosen charity for the coming year.

Councillor Alan Rennles has chosen Care for Kids North Devon as his adopted charity for 2020/21.

Because the usual fundraising activities such as the Mayor’s Ball are not possible during the coronavirus pandemic, he will be taking his fundraising online in a series of virtual events.

The funds will help support Care for Kids as it faces a very challenging time ahead.

Every year the charity helps between 15 and 20 North Devon families who are faced with the unimaginable challenge of having a child diagnosed with a life-threatening illness.

Many families struggle to meet the costs of attending numerous specialist hospital appointments in Bristol, Exeter or London.

Care for Kids provides each family with an £800 grant to help pay for travel, living costs and loss of earnings. The charity also supports improvement projects at the Caroline Thorpe children’s ward at North Devon District Hospital.

Charity founder and trustee, Jacky Massos, said: “We’re delighted to have been chosen as the Mayor’s charity this year.

“Care for Kids is completely self-funded, so we rely on donations, fundraising and events to carry on our work supporting North Devon families.

“Covid-19 has made this year very challenging for our charity, so the mayor’s support is very gratefully received. Please help us to help others by supporting the mayor’s virtual events, or simply donating to his fundraising page.”

Cllr Rennles was unable to attend the launch but deputy mayor Cllr Val Elkins said: “The town council has historically supported local charities and it is wonderful that we can give back through Care for Kids, which has helped so many people in our community.”

Details of forthcoming virtual events such as an online raffle will be released soon – follow Barnstaple Town Council or Care for Kids North Devon on Facebook to get involved and find out more information as details are released.

If you would like to make a donation to Care for Kids North Devon as the Mayor’s Charity, go to https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/CllrAlanRennles .