Alec’s Smile Fund – Spring/Summer Update 2012

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Posted on : 01-11-2012 | By : admin | In : Uncategorized

It has been a pleasure to be able to make use of Alec’s Smile Fund for our children and their families this year, and we are very grateful for the creative ways it has allowed us to support those in need of a smile whilst enduring the trials of gruelling cancer treatment.

In April it was extremely exciting to see a group of our teenagers aged 12-14 years head off for a weeks skiing in France with other young people from around the south east.  Through Alec’s Smile Fund we were able to contribute some money to each teenager towards the costs of their travel insurance and individual goggles and gloves., whilst another charity organised board, lodgings and tuition.  The week was a massive success and a chance for our youngsters to regain some independence and confidence in the wake of their diagnosis and treatment.  In fact one young lady who had not been able to talk about her treatment or her future came home from the trip and the following day completed a piece of homework in which she was able to describe her cancer journey and look forward positively to the future.  What price can you possibly put on enabling a child to believe in their future again?

Alec’s Angels also came to the rescue both financially and in person to help one of our young adults facing terminal cancer, marry her partner.  Not only did Alecs’ dad Brian chauffeur the groom and best man to the church and deliver  the bridesmaids safely back to the reception after the service, but Alec’s Angel’s also ensured the bride and groom had a wedding cake on their special day.  The wedding was described by the bride as ‘the best day of my life’ and the pictures now adorning their walls simply say it all.

The fund has ensured that we have been able to provide family days out for those whose children have been too poorly to enjoy a holiday this year.  And for those children on the ward, we were able to host a lovely Jubilee party on Kamran’s Ward that involved cake decorating, non alcoholic jubilee cocktails and a sing song of the National Anthem!

Special thanks must go to the supporters of Alec’s Angels and The Smile Fund for the gift of a specialist Apple Ipad for the children on Robin’s ward at The Children’s Hospital, Oxford.

Alec himself benefitted from, and enjoyed, this kind of technology as he recovered in from his surgery and treatment and so it seems a fitting tribute that other children facing similar challenges to him are able to benefit for such an important communication and entertainment tool after invasive neurosurgery.

Finally, whilst the fund was always designed to bring a smile to the face of children, at the most challenging times this is sometimes done by relieving huge financial burdens on parents.  Three families in particular, who by pure coincidence all have children with brain tumours, have benefitted from the Fund in recent months to address significant hardship because of a change in their child’s condition.  For each of these cases, income had reduced as parents spent precious time with their children and in doing so lost out on paid income.  To be able to offer this without delay and to see the relief on parent’s faces is something we are incredibly grateful for and something that we know we are very lucky to have.

And so once again, thank you Alec, for having a heart and soul big enough to see the needs of others, and to those who loved and cared for him enough to  make his desire a reality.

Gemma Downes
CLIC Sargent Social Worker, Oxford

MK Marathon

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Posted on : 01-11-2012 | By : admin | In : Uncategorized

MK MarathonYou can now officially run in support of Alec’s Angels at the MK Marathon next year. There is plenty of time to dust off those running shoes and get training in time for the race which will be held on Monday 6 May 2013. Click here to find out more information about the race. We look forward to seeing you there.

Helen & Douglas House

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Posted on : 20-04-2012 | By : admin | In : News

Helen & Douglas House

When Brian first told us about Alec’s Angels last summer, he said that he’d like the donations from Alec’s fund to go towards supporting families with the practical things when they go home after their child’s stay at Helen & Douglas House. This was perfect timing because by amazing coincidence we were just setting up our new Home Volunteering Project.

In January, we launched a pilot scheme with the aim of supporting families on a purely practical level within their own home. Families using the hospice houses were contacted and we asked them what type of support that would be useful to them.  What they told us formed the basis of the new project.

Volunteers have been specially trained to offer families practical support with things like everyday chores, doing the grocery shopping, picking up siblings from schools and transporting and picking up from after school activities, ironing, some cooking, helping siblings with homework and gardening.  One family told us that coming home after a lengthy stay, and coping with everything else, the fact that the grass was overgrown was really upsetting and the ‘final straw’. Parents also talked about the value of having someone to help with chores, so that they could be parents to their vulnerable child and spend quality time with them, or their other children.

More volunteers are now being trained so that we can hopefully offer the scheme to more families in the future.

This is a wonderful tribute to Alec.  A huge thank you to Alec’s Angels for their generous support and good luck for the It’s a Knock Out! event this summer!


Lennox – Giving Back

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Posted on : 04-02-2012 | By : admin | In : News

Lennox January Newsletter

Lennox – What’s the News – January 2012

Alec’s Angels – Giving Back
Reflecting back over 2011, one of the most emotional memories for us is the sad loss of Alec Jarvis, whose fight of  a brain tumour ended at only nine years old.

Six months later Alec’s family made the decision to set up a trust in his memory so that they could give back to the charities who helped them through Alec’s tough fight.

The trust was appropriately named ‘Alec’s Angels’ and his parents Sara and Brian chose three charities to support; The Lennox Children’s Cancer Fund, Clic Sargent and Helen & Douglas House.

Last year, Alec’s 16 year old cousin put the trust foward to the John Colet School in Aylesbury and asked them to raise funds through their annual ‘Help Week’. They raised lots of money and as a result, we’d like to say a huge thank you to Sara and Brian for presenting the Lennox with a cheque for £700 on behalf of Alec’s Angels. These finds were used to provide special grants for four families last Christmas.

The website set up for Alec’s Angels says: ” We want his love and laughter to be shared amongst the people who helped him most. It’s our time to give back!”

Lennox

Kamran Ward – Children’s Hospital Oxford

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Posted on : 17-01-2012 | By : admin | In : Uncategorized

Kamran Ward - Childrens Hospital Oxford

The Alec’s Smile Fund was set up in 2011 to brighten the lives of children on Kamran Ward at the Children’s Hospital, Oxford. The Fund is held at the hospital and allows staff to respond to the needs of children who are receiving treatment for cancer, and their families.

The criteria for expenditure is simple – to bring a smile to the face of a patient and their parents. The cancer journey is often long and it is always grueling. The financial costs of repeated journey’s to hospital and the restraints of treatment can leave little time for light relief.

Alec loved to laugh and he loved to have fun. Having known him briefly it has allowed us to understand what this fund is for and how he would like us to make use of it.

To date, in its infancy, we have been able to do some lovely things – some small, others big, but all bringing a smile to those who need it most.

We have been able to part fund a trip for a very poorly little boy to meet his hero, Bob the Builder, with his family, on their very first weekend break all together, ever. This was in the autumn and was a magical experience, evidenced by the host of photograph’s he brought in to show us all and which decorated his room during treatment to help him remember what he was fighting for…

We have also been able to buy special Christmas presents for the patients and siblings who have had the most challenging year, or who had been least likely to be able to celebrate Christmas without some financial support.

A unique and very humbling experience led to us initiating and granting the wish of a terminally ill little boy who wanted his Mum and Dad (long standing sweethearts of almost 20 years) to be married. This will always be one to remember! And with the support of Alec’s Smiles, in 6 sleeps and five days the most amazing day came together that would reaffirm anyone’s faith in the power of the human spirit. What price can you put on that?

And most recently, for those patients and their families who were in hospital for the New Year, we were able to host a fish and chip supper to celebrate all that we hope 2012 will provide. This was attended by the on call consultant and members of the multi disciplinary team and was a lovely occasion for all involved. It demonstrated to the children and young people that doctors and nurses are all part of a big team committed to making their treatment successful .

With the continuation of support from Alec’s Angel’s we can make the smiles keep coming. The old adage is true…sometimes laughter ( and love) really is the best medicine! I think we can all subscribe to that…

Thank you Alec.

Gemma Downes
CLIC Sargent Social Worker

Help Week

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Posted on : 04-11-2011 | By : admin | In : Uncategorized

In this article Lauren Jarvis in Year 11 explains why we will be supporting the charity Alec’s Angels:

“This charity is close to my heart because it’s named in honour of my cousin Alec who passed away earlier this year because of a brain tumour.

Alec’s Angels is organised by my Uncle and works to raise money for three charities

Helen and Douglas House which is a children’s hospice and was where my cousin lived for a while.

CLIC Sergeant who cares for children and young people with cancer and

Lennox who help children suffering from cancer and leukemia throughout the UK by offering practical, financial and emotional support to the whole family.

Alec’s Angels want to give back to the people that helped them and I think this would be a nice and different charity for our school to get involved with.

By supporting this charity we would be helping three different organisations that aim to help people not only with brain tumours but other cancers and terminal diseases. Alec’s Angels has only recently been set up and therefore would appreciate any support it can receive. At the moment I think a charity like this that concerns a student in particular at school could really help bind our school community together and therefore encourage everyone to do their best to raise money.

Alec’s Angels is a great charity and is already arranging other event throughout the year such as ‘It’s a Knockout’ to help fundraise but I know if we help as well they’d be very grateful and happy that we chose them out of other well known charities. If we can support this local charity that will encourage support throughout not just the school but the local community we would be making a difference. I know personally for me, I would be so happy knowing that I helped raise money and support this cause that is so personal as well as raising awareness about brain tumours, I hope John Colet can help make a difference and can really help Alec’s Angels help others.

Lauren Jarvis – 11D

Charlie & Alfie’s walk for Alec’s Angels

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Posted on : 09-09-2011 | By : admin | In : News

Charlie & Alfie Walk

Charlie and Alfie from Alec’s Judo Club, Renrukan in Aylesbury completed a sponsored walk (alongside their school annual sponsored walk) on Friday 9th September. They decided before the walk took place that they would like to walk for Alec.  Charlie & Alfie got permission from school to walk with them and give their money to Alec’s Angels.  The school were more than happy for them to do this and with weather finally obliging, they set off for a three mile walk after school. We are really pleased to say that the boys managed to raise around £100.

The opening of Aj’s corner at School

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Posted on : 16-07-2011 | By : admin | In : News

AJ's CornerOn Friday 16th July AJ’s corner at Roundwood Primary school in Gawcott was officially opened. Alec’s classmates worked with local artist, Stu McLellan, to create a piece of artwork to go on an area of the playground they chose to name AJ’s corner in memory of Alec. The children in year 5 at Roundwood Primary School drew a number of pictures that the local artist then used to create an outline of the artwork on 8ft x 4ft boards – all the children then had their part in helping to paint the finished piece.

Nanny’s Tea Party

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Posted on : 25-06-2011 | By : admin | In : News

Tea Party

Nanny’s Tea Party was held today in Winslow. Lots of people turned up to enjoy an afternoon of tea and cake. There was a raffle, tombola, plant stand and cake stall – with everything raised in total going towards Helen & Douglas House. The day was a great success and enjoyed by everyone who came, raising over £1000 for the charity.