“A FINAL big thank you to all who donated or fundraised – we couldn’t have done any of this without you and Ian would be touched if he could know how much people thought of him.”
Those are the parting words of John and Carol Edwards as they made the tough decision to close the Ian Edwards Cancer Break Trust.
The duo set the Trust up six years ago in memory of their son, Ian, who died after a brave battle against Lymphoma in 2010 when he was just 29.
After his tragic death the couple wanted to to do something to honour his memory and they set up a charity to help cancer inpatients in financial need have short breaks, holiday or trips out when they were well enough.
Over the years the Trust raised a whopping £57,414 which was given away as grants to help more than 250 people.
The Trust handed out £8,625 in grants to those who directly appealed to it but the majority of grants were given directly to social workers at three hospitals – Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, Heartlands Hospital and Birmingham Children’s Hospital who directed the money to families.
Grants were made in amounts of between £50 and £300 to help patients visit such places as Peppa Pig World, Legoland, Disney on Ice, London, Harry Potter Word, meals out, theatre visits, family trips to the seaside and much more.
The final cheque was written to a special account the CLIC Sargent social workers at Birmingham Children’s Hospital set up and the charity has since been removed from the Charity Commission’s register.
In a letter sent to family and friends by John and Carol they said: “Of course no Trust can bring a loved one back but they can help as part of the grieving process and this one filled a need in helping many, mostly young, cancer patients have some enjoyment in a time of great need.
“It also proved a bit of a tonic to social workers at the hospitals as they could see the enjoyment that the planning and anticipation brought to the patients, as well as going on the actual ‘short break’ to wherever it was.
“It would be nice to think that some other Charity might take on this much needed service or other grieving relatives might set up something similar but we are now trying to let as many of Ian’s friends and donors as possible know the fate of their donations or fundraising.”