Earlier this year, Elexa and Estelle Rackham lost their father Paul. For many children, their first thought might not be to spend their summer holidays helping others, but for these two young girls, raising money for the charity which helped their dad is all they want to do.
This summer the girls want to embrace the cherished memories of their dad by raising money for St Elizabeth Hospice after the charity made the last few months of Paul’s life so special.
Together with the hospice they’ve hatched a plan to raise as much as they can over their break from school and are encouraging other local school children to do the same.
Elexa, ten, said: “Dad loved it at the hospice. He used to say it was the best hotel he’d ever stayed in. We also loved coming here too. The family room had lots of toys in and Kevin on reception always looked after us. We called it ‘daddy’s home.’
“My sister and I wanted to do something to say thank you to all the nurses who looked after him and so we’re going to raise lots of money over the school summer holidays. We’ve been to the hospice to fetch a home collection box each and now we’re going to work really hard to fill it over the next few weeks.”
Estelle, seven, added: “We’ve been coming up with lots of ideas. We know all the change in people’s purses can make it really heavy so we’re happy to take that off them if they’ll let us. We’ll be asking our friends and family for donations too but we’ll also be looking at whether we can pick some flowers from the garden and sell them to our neighbours.”
Supporting the girls will be their mum Camilla. She said: “The girls have so many special memories of their dad at the hospice and we wanted to do our bit to say thank you to the team that helped make Paul’s last few months a time we all look back on with such a good feeling.
“I brought the girls back to the hospice recently to meet the fundraising team and it was lovely to see them running in the door to see the staff without a second thought. Like many parents, this was difficult for me as I didn’t know whether they’d be apprehensive about returning but to see how they wrapped their arms around people made me realise just how special our family time here was.
“The girls are now running round the house coming up with ideas of things they can do to fill their collection boxes. I’m pleased they’ll be tidying their rooms and selling some of the toys they no longer play with but they’re putting me to work too. We’ll be hosting a BBQ over the summer and asking for donations for hot dogs and burgers.”
The money raised from the collection boxes Elexa, Estelle and other school children fill over the summer will all go toward ensuring the hospice can continue to help other families like the Rackham’s.
Jodie Whitham, fundraising co-ordinator for St Elizabeth Hospice, said: “We are trying to increase the money that comes in from our home collection boxes, so were delighted that the girls could help it grow. We are so delighted that Elexa and Estelle have such happy memories of the hospice, and show it can be such positive place to be. On average, it costs around £20 to cover the cost of a nurse or therapist for an hour at the hospice and it would be great if each collection box was able to raise that amount. However much they can raise is always greatly appreciated and will be putting it to good use by bringing light to the lives of people in their darkest of times.”
To help entertain your children this summer, you can request a ‘Summer Collect’ collection box by contacting the hospice’s fundraising team on 01473 723600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.