A kind-hearted brother and sister who saved up their pocket money for charity have gone the extra mile for St Catherine’s Hospice by also completing a sponsored walk.
Nine-year-old Liam Healey and six-year-old Lily-Mai Willetts wanted to support the hospice in memory of their great auntie and great uncle, who both received care from St Catherine’s after being diagnosed with cancer.
The youngsters, from Clayton Brook, saved up £60 in pocket money, and then raised an incredible £1,000 from a six-hour sponsored walk they completed with their mum Sarah Willetts along with family members and friends on June 29.
Sarah said: “My auntie Marlene Brewer was cared for by St Catherine’s nurses at home in Bamber Bridge for six months, and she died on January 14 this year. It had a big impact on the children, and they wanted to do something to raise money for the charity because they know St Catherine’s helps people with illnesses like cancer to be more comfortable.
“They started by putting their pocket money aside and then wanted to do something bigger, so we came up with the idea of a sponsored walk. There were six kids and eight adults; we set off from Clayton Brook Community Centre and walked to St Catherine’s Hospice, but we took a detour through Bamber Bridge to make it more challenging.
“The children were exhausted by the end, but we managed to raise a great amount from sponsorship forms and people putting money in the collection buckets during the walk. I’m so proud of them.
“We also did it in memory of my uncle David Willetts who was cared for in the hospice’s inpatient unit in 2008.”
Liam and Lily-Mai are now hoping to organise a non-uniform day at Clayton Brook Primary School with a green colour scheme, in honour of the St Catherine’s colours and famous green butterfly emblem.
Hayley Jackson, community engagement officer at St Catherine’s Hospice, said: “We’re always especially grateful when children take the initiative to support our work because we know that the idea of hospices can sometimes be scary and daunting. In reality, St Catherine’s is a vibrant and friendly place, and it means a lot to us that families feel welcome to visit the hospice and are motivated to support our charity.
“We’re delighted that Liam and Lily-Mai have been so enthusiastic in their efforts to raise vital funds for our care of local people affected by life-shortening illnesses, and that they chose St Catherine’s Park as the poignant destination for the end of their sponsored walk.
“They’ve managed to raise a terrific amount for our cause, which will really make a difference as we work to help more people enjoy quality of life at the hospice and in their own homes.
“We’d like to say a huge ‘thank you’ for their fantastic achievement, and we can’t wait to hear more about the green-themed non-uniform day they have planned. They truly are hospice heroes!”