Captain Jack’s fund is proving a blockbuster

Published on: 26 Sep 2013

Jack BanksMovie-themed-fancy-dress-13-September-2013Movie-themed-fancy-dress-13-September-2013Movie-themed-fancy-dress-13-September-2013Movie-themed-fancy-dress-13-September-2013

A DETERMINED mum’s fund-raising campaign for Bristol Children’s Hospital has had its busiest year yet – thanks partly to the readers of Downend Voice.

Paula Banks and her family are supporting the hospital where her son Jack was treated for leukaemia for several years until his death in 2008 at the age of nine.

Paula’s aim is to raise £100,000 for a new playroom and conservatory as part of a major expansion at the hospital.

Downend Voice has been highlighting the fundraising efforts and Paula has been contacted by people keen to help after reading her story. She and her husband Rob and son Joe  had hoped to reach £70,000 by the end of 2013 – but the fund has already topped £71,500.


“I have been completely overwhelmed with the support Jack’s fund has received this year,” she said.

“It’s been our busiest yet and that £100,000 target is looking more and more achievable. I just need to think of fundraising events for 2014!”

The fund has had a triple boost in the last month. A movie-themed fancy dress night at Pomphrey Hill sports pavilion raised £1,000, a sponsored skydive brought in £1,400 and John Lewis department store handed over £1,040.

Paula said: “Our charity fancy dress party went really well. There were about 80 people there on the night and the effort made with people’s costumes was amazing. There were so many different characters ranging from Cleopatra, Captain Jack Sparrow, several Marvel and Disney characters, Pink Ladies and Frankenstein to mention just a few.”

A raffle and an auction of a signed England Cricket shirt and book about the birth of the Ashes brought in more cash and Richard Martin provided a disco.

The tandem skydive was bravely undertaken by Paula’s friend Lisa Franklin, whose son went to school with Jack.

The donation from John Lewis, from the store’s Community Matters initiative, came as a welcome surprise to the family.

Earlier in the year, Paula and a team of friends and colleagues took part in the Bristol 10k and five supporters took part in a mass skydive. She has also run stalls at events and held a Ladies Night in July.

“I really appreciate how Downend Voice is helping raise awareness,” Paula said. “It really has helped with some of our fundraising and I have been recognised from the photos you have printed.”

To donate to Jack’s fund, formally known as the Jack Banks Star Tribute fund for the Wallace and Gromit Grand Appeal, go to

The fund already supplies pirate-themed toyboxes, known as Captain Jack’s treasure chests, for young patients at the hospital who are undergoing gruelling treatments.


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