Jack’s fund nears £100,000 target

Published on: 02 Jan 2015

jacks fundraising

IT was an ambitious target – but thanks to the support of hundreds of people from Downend, Staple Hill and across Bristol it has almost been reached.

The Jack Banks Star Tribute Fund is about to reach £100,000. (It might even have done so by the time you read this!)

The Banks family set up the fund in support of the Wallace and Gromit Grand Appeal after they lost their son Jack to leukaemia in 2008 at the age of nine. He had been ill for over four years and was treated at Bristol Children’s Hospital.

His mum Paula decided she wanted to fund the new playroom and integrated conservatory on the Children’s Cancer Unit as part of an expansion programme at the city centre hospital. She knew from experience what a difference the facility would make to families whose children had to spend weeks in isolation.

Jack’s fund also provides ‘treasure chests’; priate-themed toy boxes from which children can choose a toy when they face frightening medical procedures.

Paula, husband Rob, son Joe and many family and friends have raised money through sxponsored runs, skydives, and other events. Downend Voice reported in May 2013 that they had raised £55,000. Now they have almost doubled that total, partly thanks to the efforts of Paula’s work colleagues at Osborne Clarke, who made Jack’s fund their charity of the year and have collected about £12,000 since May 2014.

The family, who live in Chesterfield Road, have had great backing from people in their home area

Downend WI supported the fund throughout 2014, with events including a swishing night, ladies night, craft nights and a quiz night, as well as helping to support the sparkler area at The Downend Round Table Fireworks event. Members handed over £600 to Paula, along with a box of toys for children undergoing treatment for cancer.

Paula said: “I am so grateful to the Downend WI for this amazing donation and I look forward to becoming a member of their group in 2015.”

Jack’s fund is also a chosen charity for the Frenchay 10K in April.

Paula said that the run-up to Christmas was a tough time for the family so the fundraising push had been a welcome distraction.

“I really cannot put into words how much I have appreciated all the continued support throughout 2014. I thought 2013 had been a busy year but 2014 has topped it and with our target being so close now, it really is overwhelming to think how many people have got behind Jack’s Fund over the past 6+ years,” she said. Next year, fundraising starts afresh, with a new challenge set for Jack’s Fund by The Grand Appeal – more on that in 2015.

To contribute, visit www.justgiving.com/jackbanks

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