New North Devon charity will help poorly children

A new charity has been set up to help the families of local children who have been diagnosed with a life threatening illness. Care for Kids North Devon works to raise money for the Caroline Thorpe Children s Ward at Barnstaple hospital and also provides a

A new charity has been set up to help the families of local children who have been diagnosed with a life threatening illness.

Care for Kids North Devon works to raise money for the Caroline Thorpe Children's Ward at Barnstaple hospital and also provides an instant lump sum for families who have just learned the devastating news of their child's illness.

The money is designed to help alleviate the initial financial problems parents can face as they adjust to life with a very sick child and the likelihood of travelling hundreds of miles each week to specialist children's hospitals.

The launch of the new charity will take place at Bratton Fleming Village Hall on Sunday, where supporters are hosting an afternoon tea between 2.30-5pm, with all welcome.


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A fun packed afternoon is planned, with competitions, face painting, raffles, home made cakes and a not-to-be-missed cream tea.

The support provided by the charity will usually follow referral from North Devon District Hospital. Two of the four charity trustees, nurse Jenny Birch and play specialist Fran Greenaway, both work on the Caroline Thorpe Ward.

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Trustee Jacky Massos experienced all the anxieties of having a sick child when her son Jason was diagnosed with leukaemia, while fourth trustee, Jo Dunbavin, is an experienced fund raiser and event co-ordinator.

"Essentially we are trying to bridge that 12 week gap between diagnosis and when benefit packages can kick in," explained Jo.

"People are having to visit Bristol, Birmingham, even as far as Oxford and it can lead to loss of earnings as one parent often has to stay home to look after other children."

Care for Kids also aims to help provide the Caroline Thorpe Ward with extra equipment or toys to make life a little easier and fun for those youngsters facing a long term stay in hospital.

Jo said support was already coming in for the charity, with a team of four undertaking the Three Peaks Challenge on its behalf and raising �1,000, while Park School had made several donations after organising a series of events.

Anyone unable to attend the launch on Sunday can find out more about Care for Kids North Devon by visiting www.careforkidsnorthdevon.org.uk.

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