Community Stars Awards: Cancer charity set up to “give something back”

editorial image

WHEN Lancing parents Kelly and Warren Street were given the news that their eight-year-old son had a cancerous tumour, their world fell apart.

Freddy received top class treatment at a number of hospitals including the Royal Marsden in London, and when he went into remission his family decided that they wanted to give something back.

Since Freddysmile Children’s Cancer Charity was born in February 2011, enough money has been raised to buy three static caravans, offering families the chance of some quality time together away from the difficulties of hospitals and treatment.

The charity is this week’s nomination for the Herald’s Community Stars Awards, in the category of Charity of the Year.

Judy Kara, of Orme Road, Worthing, works occasionally as a volunteer in one of the organisation’s two warehouses.

She said: “The charity was started following Kelly and Warrens’ own child having cancer. They realised there was a need for families with a child with cancer, who is frequently in hospital for treatment, that other children in the family miss out and that time as a family does not exist.

“They started fund raising to buy a caravan where these families could have a break. Now they have three at the Bunn leisure Holiday Park in Selsey. To a family with a child with cancer these breaks are free. They are rentable at other times to other families to raise more money for the charity.

“Kelly and Warren, who started the charity, work tirelessly promoting the charity and working in it they are amazing.”

Mrs Street said: “I am absolutely chuffed to bits when people give us feedback like this.

“It inspires us to carry on with what we are doing because we know we are doing something good and people appreciate it.

“The charity has grown a huge amount and has totally outdone what we expected it to do.

“We were so thankful for the outcome that we got and we wanted to make a difference to others, but it was intended to be a little local charity that helped local hospitals.

“After we had the Hickman Drysuits designed we were put in a position where people from all over the country and even abroad were asking for them. “There is no way you can say no to a family going through such a difficult time and there is no other charity that offers this.

“From our own personal experience Freddy suffered from not being able to go swimming so the suits are really important for the children’s mental and physical health as the chemotherapy can weaken the bones and muscles and swimming rebuilds that.”

Mrs Street said that the long term goal for the charity was to buy a plot of land to build a holiday park.

She said: “It would be great to have lots of families together who are all going through the same thing.

“Cancer affects the whole family so a sense of normality and fun is important.”

You can make a nomination for an individual or organisation for this year’s awards by emailing sian.gordon@worthingherald.co.uk