WHAT DO Prince Harry
Scouting For Girls THE ENGLAND Football Team
Stavros Flatley AND Gillian McKeith
HAVE IN Common?
THEY ARE ALL Supporters OF
FOR SICK Children
Previously based in London, WellChild moved to Cheltenham in 2001 to make it easier to carry out their work all over the UK.
The charity provides a light in the darkness for seriously ill children and their families by offering help and support in their times of need. It’s not limited to a single illness but tries to offer help to sick children whatever they are suffering from as they deal with the consequences of serious illness and complex conditions. WellChild focuses on three key areas of care, support and research and its eventual aim is that any child in the UK which needs help – gets it.
WellChild Chief Executive, Colin Dyer said: “We are delighted to be based in Cheltenham because it is such a good central position for us to be able to reach all of our projects of care, support and research wherever they are taking place across the UK. The people of Gloucestershire have really taken WellChild to their hearts and it is fantastic to see them supporting us so generously with fundraising events and other activities. Without them we couldn’t do as much as we do to help seriously ill children and their families.”
Among WellChild’s events in Gloucestershire are the annual summer and Christmas fairs in the Cotswolds, which are attended by thousands of local people. WellChild also has the support of Cheltenham’s Everyman Theatre in the run up to this year’s pantomime, Cinderella. It has been named their panto charity and WellChild Christmas cards are currently on sale at the box office.
There are also numerous smaller fundraising events across the county such as Walk for WellChild; fundraisers organised in schools and workplaces and more. One example is the Gloucester-based Dancestars children’s dancing school which held it’s Christmas show to raise money for WellChild last year and will do so again this year.
People from Gloucestershire also take part in challenge events such as sponsored runs for WellChild and volunteer to help the charity at national events such as the London Marathon and the annual WellChild Awards.
Work carried out by WellChild within Gloucestershire has included Helping Hand projects in which teams of volunteers go into the home of a sick child, or into schools or organisations which support them, and carry out work such as room and garden makeovers.
A recent Helping Hands project involved volunteers from the Everyman Theatre redesigning and painting murals in a playroom at Amberley Ridge special school in Stroud; and a team from Renishaws engineering firm in Gloucestershire creating a new library at the school.
As well as having many volunteers, WellChild is lucky to have high profile supporters such as its
Patron, Prince Harry who help promote the charity’s work. The Prince has been guest of honour at the annual WellChild Awards ceremony for the past few years, when seriously ill children from across the UK are honoured for their bravery in front of a host of celebrities. The Prince has also met families supported by WellChild and invited children to events attended by himself and Prince William.
Other prominent WellChild supporters include the members of the England Football team who donated their England match fees to WellChild right through their World Cup campaign and gave up their free time to make personal appearances which give sick children hope and encouragement.
The dedicated team of WellChild Children’s Nurses works with sick children and their families across the country. These nurses help to ensure children with complex needs can leave hospital and return home to be cared for with their family.
Caring for a chronically sick child is a huge challenge, not just for the parents but for the whole family. WellChild’s Helping Hands scheme enlists the support of volunteers from companies and organisations across the country to tackle home development projects such as improving a child’s bedroom or remodelling the garden to make it a safe, fun place to play.
Research into children’s illness can bring huge rewards which benefit not just one child – but many, and for years to come. WellChild has invested more that £20 million in ground-breaking children’s health research projects over the past 30 years. This investment has lead to developments spanning everything from pain relief to liver and kidney disease, from cancer and diabetes to rare disorders.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED
If you would like to support WellChild by making a donation or volunteering then please contact them at:
16 Royal Crescent
Telephone 01242 530 007
Or visit the website at: