Firm helps charity on way to £25,000

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A local firm has helped a charity’s bid to raise £25,000 to send families of children and young people with cancer on holiday get off to a flying start.

Hundreds of pounds raised at Gillotts Funeral Directors has contributed to an overall £1,500 donation made to the Ryan Lee Trust, which is based in Kimberley, and wants to collect the cash to purchase and fit out a holiday caravan in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk.

The money was raised via the company’s remembrance Christmas tree appeal, which Gillotts staged at its Stapleford office last month, as well as at its funeral homes in Eastwood, Kimberley and Heanor.

This week Gillotts partners Joanne Hutsby and Anthony Topley visited the drop-in centre to hand over the cheque to trust founder Deb Lee, who launched the charity when her son, Ryan, died in 2010 at the age of 15 after developing five brain tumours.

The charity lends much-needed specialist living equipment that is not available on the NHS to local families, such as supportive seats, sensory lights, walking frames and adjustable vests, but now wants to buy the caravan – which it has called a Care-avan – so that they can enjoy a week away at the seaside.

Joanne Hutsby, a partner at Gillotts Funeral DirectorsPi, said: “We have got to know Deb and her team extremely well over the years and we know what a great and worthy cause the Ryan Lee Trust is.

“The Care-avan has the power to make a huge difference to the families who will use it and we are extremely happy to give the fund a head start with the proceeds of our Christmas appeal.”

Trust founder Deb Lee said she is very grateful for the money.

She said: “We are extremely grateful to Gillotts for their kind donation, which represents a wonderful start to our Care-avan Appeal.

“The Care-avan will be properly fitted out and promises to become a much-needed lifeline for families who will be able to enjoy a well-earned break from the stressful treatment and hospital visits that become part of their day-to-day lives.”

Pictured above (left to right) is Anthony Topley and Joanne Hutsby, who are both partners at Gillotts Funeral Directors, handing over a £1,500 cheque to Deb Lee whose charity, the Ryan Lee Trust, wants to raise £25,000 to buy a holiday caravan for families of children and young people with cancer.