Care for Kids North Devon has raised an amazing £150,000 since it was formed in 2009

A charity that supports families of children at North Devon District Hospital has reached a milestone by passing the £150,000 fundraising mark.

Founded in 2009, Care for Kids North Devon helps families of local children up to the age of 18 who have an unexpected life-threatening illness and require specialist care in Bristol or beyond.

It provides an initial grant of £800 on diagnosis to help relieve the initial burden of financial worry.

Jacky Massos, founder, trustee and treasurer of the charity, said: "Families can find themselves in total turmoil, often facing loss of earnings, travel expenses and living away from home.

"Parents say our grant comes at just the right time, allowing them to concentrate on the important things."

The charity relies on volunteers to raise funds and has been supported by the community through a variety of fundraising events.

That has translated to helping 93 families, including 18 in the last financial year.

The charity also pays for extra 'luxury' items, equipment and toys at the Caroline Thorpe children's ward.

In the playroom this has included 'beach hut' storage units with a built-in flat screen TV, Playstation and games plus furniture and portable bedside DVD players for patients, as well as five toy towers plus a high tech 'pain distraction' unit for the treatment room.

In the future it is hoped to provide more for teenagers and to refit a cubicle out on the ward.

Anita Chin, ward manager, said: "Everyone on Caroline Thorpe Ward would like to thank Care for Kids for their tremendous support over the years and congratulate them on raising over £150,000.

"Their work continues to make a very positive difference for patients and families across North Devon."

For more information about Care for Kids, visit www.careforkidsnorthdevon.org.uk.