Volunteer appeal for cancer centre

Appeal to help members of The Ryan Lee Trust meet the opening target of their new family support centre in Kimberley. Pictured front with AS Level Art students from Kimberley School is Ryan's mother Deb Lee. Pictured back l-r is Olivia Ryder, Hannah Carter, Shauna Sheffield, Lauren O'Neill and Tamara Bamford.
Appeal to help members of The Ryan Lee Trust meet the opening target of their new family support centre in Kimberley. Pictured front with AS Level Art students from Kimberley School is Ryan's mother Deb Lee. Pictured back l-r is Olivia Ryder, Hannah Carter, Shauna Sheffield, Lauren O'Neill and Tamara Bamford.

Desperate founders of a cancer care charity are appealing for volunteers to help them complete their first support centre before Christmas.

The Ryan Lee Trust was hoping to open a specialist family support centre early this month but due to renovation set-backs and a lack of volunteers they are fighting to open the doors before the charity’s fourth birthday.

The centre on Main Street, Kimberley hopes to provide a space for children who are suffering from cancer to play safely while the parents talk over coffee.

Charity founder Debbie Lee said that it is vital that the centre opens as soon as possible as it will meet the needs of child cancer sufferers and their families that are not provided for by the authorities.

She added: “For many of the children we want to support, we don’t know how long they are going to be with us and at the moment they are on their own.

“There is nothing like this available currently and it will be a way for children and families to meet up.

The Ryan Lee Trust centre will have safe cushioned areas for children to play, a blackboard wall, specialist toys and equipment and adjustable tables which can accomodate wheelchairs.

Equipment which supports children so that they can stand and play or do crafts has also been brought in and there is even a therapy room where the children can have massages to alleviate symptoms.

The Ryan Lee Trust was set up in December 2010 after Shaun and Debbie lost their 15-year-old son Ryan to five glioblastoma multiforme brain tumours, with the main one on his brain stem.

They also provide bespoke boxes of specialist toys which the children cannot hurt themselves on and which will help them with their condition, as well as foot muffs and ponchos to make winter in a wheelchair more comfortable.

Debbie added: “When sufferers leave the hospital they don’t have half the things they need and parents are taught to be the nurses so they can get quite lonely and depressed.

“At this centre they will be able to share their experiences and connect with others in their situation.”

Can you spare an hour to help decorate the centre? Or can you donate some paint and take it to the centre? Call 01159 382936 or email ryanleetrust@btinternet.com.