The leader of a Coventry-based childhood cancer charity has thanked one of the city’s law firms for helping them to overcome the most difficult year in their history.
This time last year Shine A Light Support Service – which supports families affected by childhood cancer – had to leave Coventry Point with no initial alternative accommodation.
Charity founder Sam Schoolar eventually found new premises at the Koco Community Centre at Spon End, and joined forces with Band Hatton Button who adopted Shine A Light as their charity partner for 2018, which went on to raise more than £12,500 throughout the year.
“The donations from Band Hatton Button has quadrupled the annual income we are used to, and without that money it has given us the confidence to move forward from what was a very bleak situation,” said Sam.
“Without those funds we would have been looking at a very different future, but we now have two spaces at the Koco Community Centre where we support around 40 families a month.
“We have a play area for children and a café area for parents which means we can lay on coffee mornings and introduce structured play activities.
“We also have a separate space for private counselling which means we can provide a useful, rounded service for people who are doing through some of their darkest days.
“We’ve seen a big spike in enquiries for our services over the last couple of months – driven by word of mouth and referrals from hospitals – so we are appealing for as many donations as possible to help us keep up with demand.
“The two most popular services are the counselling and the trips that we do because that’s when families can socialise with others who have gone through similar experiences to them.
“We are also introducing some academic sessions for youngsters who can learn about coding and how to create their own game or website – it’s something different that helps to take their minds off what they are going through.”
Over the past year Band Hatton Button has hosted a charity ball, taken part in the Lake District Six Peaks Challenge and organised a quiz night in conjunction with the Rotary Club of Kenilworth to raise funds, with staff also helping to decorate the charity’s new base.
Sarah Jordan, Head of Marketing and Client Relations at Band Hatton Button, added: “This has been one of the most rewarding years for us as a firm having seen the difference that our fundraising has made.
“We’re hoping news of Shine A Light’s revival will inspire other businesses to reach out and help them grow further – they provide an invaluable support to families who are going through extreme difficulty.”
For more information about Shine A Light, visit www.shinealightss.org.uk.
Photo caption: From left, Jonathan Miller (Rotary Club of Kenilworth), Dina Parmar (Band Hatton Button), Kristy Ainge (Band Hatton Button) and Sam Schoolar (Shine A Light Support Service).
For more information contact Adam Manning: