Fund-raising helps Rugby charity to deliver more help to children and young people with cancer - The Rugby Observer

Fund-raising helps Rugby charity to deliver more help to children and young people with cancer

A BIG-HEARTED Rugby charity which gives vital support to children and young people with cancer and their families will be able to offer 90 more counselling sessions, thanks to recent fund-raising initiatives.

Shine a Light (SAL) – set up in 2016 by childhood Leukaemia survivor Sam Schoolar – raised almost £5,000 at the events with the help of volunteers.

A team of 80 staff from insurance company RSA – a corporate partner of the charity – gave up their time to volunteer at Woodland Grange in Leamington to raise money, wrap gifts and put family hampers together for those who need cheering up, and also built fairground games for the town’s Pugstock Festival.

Peter Emery, Partnerships Director at RSA, said it was an ‘absolute delight’ to be able to support the charity.

He added: “Spending the day helping the charity was not just fun but hugely fulfilling. Knowing that in some small part we were helping the team to meet the needs of families suffering with cancer diagnoses across Warwickshire was very humbling.

“Sam and Dawn, one of the trustees, were a joy to work with and couldn’t have worked any harder to make the event more engaging.”

The charity also hosted D-Day celebrations at its support centre in Rugby Central Shopping Centre.

Around 40 people visited to chat to army veterans from the Royal British Legion and listen to their memorable stories, while tucking into the D-Day themed food of corned beef hash and baked beans to a backdrop of 40s music.

Wayne Perry, a Standard Bearer for the Legion, wanted to do something to allow people in Rugby to learn about what happened on D-Day, and to discover more about the SAL’s work.

He said: “The 40s music, themed food and trip down memory lane was very special, and the memories and tales flowed.”

Sam set up the charity because her childhood experience taught her how difficult life is for seriously ill children and their families.

She said: “When you have a child with a life-threatening illness, your world falls apart. What we try to do at Shine a Light is bring some joy, relief and support to those children and young people, and their families and we do that in lots of different ways.

“A huge thank you to RSA for getting 80 of their staff to volunteer for us and for the funds they have raised through bake sales and other fundraising activity.

“And we loved our D-Day celebrations in the centre – it was so special to bring the community together to remember those who served our country and to honour those we lost.

“We want our centre to be seen as a warm, friendly and supportive place local people can drop in for a cuppa and chat. This event was just that and it helped raise much needed funds too.”

Shine a Light provides services including counselling, home and hospital visits, a youth club, a drop-in service and welcome packs for hospital patients.

The charity relies on the funds of businesses, charitable organisations and people to keep its support centre running, and to fund counselling sessions at a cost of £55 each.

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