30 November 2022

Photo caption: Pictured are Harry’s parents, Stephen and Sally Johnson, and his brother Eric.

A Shropshire children’s cancer charity has raised an extraordinary £70,000 to fund a static caravan to offer breaks to local families whose child is being cared for by the Children’s Oncology Ward at The Princess Royal Hospital, Telford.

The Harry Johnson Trust has bought the caravan to give children and their families or carers the opportunity to get away and spend quality time together. It can also be used by bereaved parents, as well as staff from the ward who are in need of respite.

The Trust helps children and teenagers receiving care from the Oncology Team at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH), providing whatever they need to make things that little bit easier.

It was founded in November 2014, following the death of seven-year-old Harry Johnson who died after a nine-month fight with Double Hit Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.

Harry’s parents, Sally and Stephen, felt a strong desire to help others going through similar experiences to theirs and decided to use the donations made at Harry’s funeral to set up a Trust.

Since then, the Trust has continued to grow, with volunteers working hard to raise funds for a range of projects including:

  • Harry’s Hampers – containing bits and pieces that a family might find useful in the first few days in hospital.
  • Harry’s Hugs – a patchwork quilt or memory bear made from the favourite clothes of a child if they sadly pass away, for loved ones to hug and remember.
  • Family Fun – vouchers for local restaurants and places to visit so children can spend time with those they love.
  • Perfect Pillows – a soft fleece pillowcase or blanket for when a child begins to lose their hair from chemotherapy.
  • Mini Projects – gift cards for the hospital café, books, games, toys and equipment for the children’s oncology ward.

The Trust recently announced its biggest and most expensive project yet – ‘Harry’s House’ – a static caravan in Mid Wales.

Sally said: “We are so grateful to everyone who has donated and fundraised for us since we set up the trust.

“The last few years have been tough financially for everyone, so being able to raise enough to fund Harry’s House is wonderful and we would like to thank our supporters, old and new, for continuing to help us help these amazing children.

“The caravan will provide much needed breaks for so many people and we know it will be a welcome, fun and safe place for children and families to spend time with their loved ones.”

Hayley Flavell, Director of Nursing at SaTH, said: “The Harry Johnson Trust is having an extraordinary impact on the lives of our patients, their families and our staff, and we are so grateful.

“By working in partnership, we are able to deliver so much more for our young cancer patients, and I hope that the care we provide honours Harry’s memory and the wonderful efforts of the Trust.”

To learn more about the Harry Johnson Trust, please visit www.theharryjohnsontrust.co.uk