Two hundred and fifty thousand pounds has been raised to buy a flat for young cancer sufferers thanks to Eastbourne fundraisers.
The Ben McNicol Trust was established in 2013 in memory of Ben McNicol who lived in Eastbourne and was a pupil at St John’s Meads Primary School.
Ben had a brain tumour and he had treatment at The Royal Marsden in Sutton, which is a three to four hour round trip away from Eastbourne. Sadly, Ben died in May 2012.
In response to a desire to do something in memory of Ben, it was decided to raise funds to purchase a flat for the use of children and families who find themselves in Ben’s position. They wanted a property close to The Royal Marsden Hospital to ease the strain for families.
The first fundraiser was a café in Meads hosted by the Piper family with many helpers.
Following this initial event, many people in Eastbourne gave both their time and money to the cause.
Most of the events have taken place in Eastbourne but there have been fundraisers across the UK and in Switzerland, Germany, China, New Zealand and Australia.
Many cakes have been consumed and hundreds of miles have been walked, run and swam for the Ben McNicol Trust.
The Eastbourne community has shown great generosity, with individuals, families, schools, community groups and businesses showing continued support for the Trust and helped raised the £250, 000 that was needed.
Roddy McNicol, speaking on behalf of the Trust, said, “It really is amazing what many people’s generosity has resulted in.
“Ben McNicol was a well loved, special boy. It is a wonderful tribute to him that there now is this flat providing really practical support to families.
“We hope that this property which has just been purchased will ease some of the enormous stress families face whilst coming to terms with the illness of their child.
“A special place to call home for a while, is what the generosity of the Eastbourne community has provided.”
The Trust completed on the sale of the flat recently and the keys were handed over to The Royal Marsden last week.
Pictured is Carly Snowball, matron and lead nurse for The Oak Centre for Children and Young People at The Royal Marsden Hospital.
To support The Ben McNicol Trust with their ongoing running costs, and for more information, please contact the charity by visiting the website at www.benmcnicoltrust.com