A KIND-HEARTED woman from Chelmsley Wood is taking on a different form of charity to raise money for vulnerable children – by bathing in baked beans.
Emma Hughes, 44, said she is extremely honoured to be part of a group of volunteers called Purple People at Midlands-based children’s charity Caudwell Children.
Over 100 children die weekly from a childhood illness, while 2,200 children spend more than six months every year of their reduced life-span in hospital.
Through the charity, children with disabilities and families struggling to gain much-needed help can access support.
The 44-year-old said: “I see on a daily basis how hard it is for the families whom I support raising a child with life limiting and/or life threatening illnesses.
“Their lives are bound by countless medical appointments and having to constantly think about the practicalities for their child in their everyday lives and how hard it is to balance their family lives, especially that of the siblings of the special needs child.”
Every year the charity funds a trip for a supported family holiday to Florida, USA – offering families pre-trip support and guidance and 24 hour professional medical and practical support for the entirety of the trip.
The Caudwell team is currently preparing for its next trip in January next year.
Emma is one of 40 who will go along to support the family, in addition to a team of 30 medical staff.
She said: “Knowing that I am part of that team to offer this support is very humbling and it feels good to be able to help.
“Although I am very excited to be going, it will be lots of hard work but it will be so rewarding when I can see the looks on the children’s faces and seeing them making such precious memories with their families.”
Part of Emma’s volunteering duties is to raise the profile for the charity and much-needed funds – so on Saturday, June 10 she will be bathing in a tub full of baked beans at Chelmsley Wood Shopping Centre, Maple Walk.
She said: “I wanted to come up with something inventive for my fundraising, something unusual that many people would find funny and would not want to do themselves.
“Lots of the children that I support within my job are looking forward to coming along on Saturday to pour a bucket of baked beans over my head.
“I am excited to take the plunge but am equally quietly dreading it, I will definitely be wearing socks as I am not looking forward to feeling the beans between my toes.”
There will also be a raffle and face painting on the day.
Emma has raised over £400 – her target is to raise £1,200, all of which goes to Destination Dreams.
Aside from a baked-bean bath, Emma has held a car boot, a curry night and a raffle – and even plans to cut her long hair short.
Her fellow volunteers will also be fundraising for the charity through selling arts and crafts, holding bake sales, fashion shows and a Disney themed quiz night.
To sponsor Emma visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/emhughes