Mothers join forces for charity

By Sue Austin | Shrewsbury | Shrewsbury entertainment | Published:

Two Shropshire mothers have joined forces to stage a shopping extravaganza for their charities next month.

Sue Dewhirst of CRY for Matthew and Sally Johnson from The Harry Johnson Trust are hosting the event at the Albrighton Hall Hotel east of Shrewsbury on November 5.

The Harry Johnson Trust, which supports children with cancer was established in July 2014 following the death of seven-year-old Harry from a rare form of childhood cancer.

Harry’s parents wanted to ‘fill the gap’ in the support that was available for children with cancer and their families, as there wasn’t any local charity dedicated to this cause for local people. 

The trust works closely with the children’s oncology team at the Shropshire and Telford Hospital Trust to ensure that the right child gets the right support at the right time.

Sally said: "Children range from birth to 18, and are supported from diagnosis to recovery, and sadly we are there for families if the worst should happen too. Support is simple, practical and immediate, ranging from fleece pillowcases which are soft on a bare head to days out in the local area and anything and everything in between - the ward staff know exactly what the child and family need and when they need it."

The CRY for Matthew fund provides free heart screening for young people aged 14-35 to identify defects that kill at least 12 young people every week in the UK. This fund was set up in 2012, following the death of Matthew Dewhirst, aged 17.

Matthew's mother, Sue, said: "Since then we have screened over 2,700 young people and approximately 6 per cent of those screened have been found to have issues that showed no symptoms, but, if left untreated could have caused an early death or problems in later life. We know that 80 per cent of the young people that die suddenly will not have shown any symptoms at all and we know that by screening we can reduce that figure by 89 per cent. Screening has a cost of £50 per person and so we fundraise in elements of £5,000 to provide a day of screening with CRY for 100 young hearts."

The Shopping Extravaganza will raise funds for both causes, money thatwill be used to support local young people.


"We have invited and chosen some unique stalls to entice people to spend for Christmas, businesses from Shropshire, Staffordshire and Cheshire are supporting us. As well as shopping, we have live demonstrations of classical and Indian cookery, willow weaving and floristry, using real flowers as fascinators.

"The Albrighton are also offering a package for any ladies wanting to stay over for a pamper day of the 6 November using their Spa facilities. Our aim is to make this an event that becomes a regular in the Shropshire calendars to help raise the profile for both small, local causes."

The day will start at 10am and will be officially opened by Katy Rink of My Shrewsbury and refreshments will be available at the hotel for those making a day of it. A raffle will include prizes gifted by local companies and stallholders.

"We want this to be a real day to remember with the funds we raise going to support those that need it locally," Sally said.

Sue Austin

By Sue Austin
Chief Reporter

Chief reporter of the Oswestry/Mid Wales office. Keen to hear your news.


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