A BIG-HEARTED Rugby charity is bringing festive cheer to children and young people with cancer and their families across Coventry and Warwickshire.
Shine A Light threw a Christmas party for the families it supports at its Family Centre in Rugby Central Shopping Centre.
And the charity has created festive hampers to put smiles on the faces of the families during difficult times.
The charity was set up by Sam Schoolar in 2016 to help children and young people up to the age of 24 who have cancer and their families.
As a childhood survivor of Leukaemia, she knows only too well how difficult life is for a seriously ill child, their siblings, parents and grandparents.
She said: “When you have a child with a life-threatening illness, it doesn’t matter that it is Christmas – their treatment, check-ups and hospital stays still have to go ahead.
“What we try to do at Shine A Light is bring some joy, relief and support to those families – and we do that in lots of different ways.
“We have just had a Christmas Party which was great fun – there was food, music, dancing and gifts for the children and their siblings. The wonderful DJ, Ian T, dedicated his time for free to bring some joy, which was very appreciated.
“Dunelm Coventry have supported us with their Deliver and Joy campaign, donating more than 100 presents for us to gift – their customers donated the items. Our families have been delighted with the wonderful gifts they have received.
“We are now creating festive hampers to give to the families which we know will enable us to put smiles on the faces of these families who are going through unimaginably stressful and frightening times.”
Among those supported by the charity is six-year-old Hugo Bufton from Warwick, who is two years into his treatment for Leukaemia.
Mum Nadia said: “Shine A Light has been a lifeline for us. Having a child with cancer really takes its toll on all of us and every day is challenging.
“Through the charity’s partnership with Sporting Bears, Hugo got the chance to have a 20-minute ride in a Mustang and he absolutely loved it. He was giggling all the way.”
Every day in the UK, around 11 children and young people find out they have cancer. Shine A Light helps families through these challenging times through counselling, activity sessions, welcome packs, a drop-in service and play therapy, as well as home and hospital visits.
Shine A Light relies on fundraising and donations to continue to support families across the region.
Sam added: “We are grateful for any amount, no matter how small – it all helps.
“We recently received £12,000 from the People’s Postcode Lottery which we are so grateful for, and Sporting Bears chose Shine A Light as one of its charities to fundraise for which has brought in around £9,300. These funds allow us to continue to provide our much-needed services.”
Contact the charity on 02476 676159 or at [email protected] to volunteer, donate, or choose Shine A Light as your Charity of the Year.