Ryan Lee Trust ‘care-avan’ bid off to flying start

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A donation from a local firm has given a flying start to a £25,000 fundraising bid by a charity that wants to by a ‘care-avan’ where children with cancer and their families can enjoy all-important holidays.

Hundreds of pounds raised at Gillotts Funeral Directors, in Derby Road, Stapleford, has contributed to an overall £1,500 donation made to the Ryan Lee Trust, which is based in Kimberley and wants to collect the cash to purchase and fit out a holiday caravan in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk.

The money was raised via the company’s remembrance Christmas tree appeal, which Gillotts staged at its Stapleford office, as well as at its funeral homes in Eastwood, Kimberley and Heanor.

This week Gillotts partners Joanne Hutsby and Anthony Topley visited the Ryan Lee Trust drop-in centre to hand over the cheque to trust founder Deb Lee, who launched the much-respected charity when her son, Ryan, died in 2010 at the age of 15 after developing five brain tumours.

The charity lends much-needed specialist living equipment that is not available on the NHS to local families, such as supportive seats, sensory lights, walking frames and adjustable vests. But it now wants to buy the caravan, which it will call a ‘care-avan’, so that they can enjoy a week away at the seaside.

Joanne Hutsby, a partner at Gillotts Funeral Directors, said: “We have got to know Deb and her team extremely well over the years and we know what a great and worthy cause the Ryan Lee Trust is.

“The care-avan has the power to make a huge difference to the families who will use it and we are extremely happy to give the fund a head start with the proceeds of our Christmas appeal.”

Trust founder Deb Lee said she was very grateful for the money.

She said: “We are extremely grateful to Gillotts for the kind donation, which represents a wonderful start to our care-avan appeal.

“The care-avan will be properly fitted out and promises to become a much-needed lifeline for families who will be able to enjoy a well-earned break from the stressful treatment and hospital visits that become part of their day-to-day lives.”

To support the Ryan Lee Trust visit facebook.com/ryanleetrust.