Legacy of inspirational athlete Jane Tomlinson generates huge boost for charities

Jane Tomlinson
Jane Tomlinson

Projects across Yorkshire are celebrating after winning vital funding from the Jane Tomlinson Appeal.

A total of just over £50,000 has been presented to 11 causes by the Appeal, the legacy of the late Jane Tomlinson CBE, who raised £1.85m for children’s and cancer charities before her death from cancer aged just 43 in 2007.

The charity which bears Jane’s name gives out grants to support, in the main, children’s and cancer charities, across the region and beyond.

The Yorkshire charities receiving funds in the latest round of grant-giving were:

· Snaps (Leeds) – £2,310 to fund Rebound – specialist weekend trampoline sessions for children with special needs

· Star Bereavement (Wakefield) – £9,984 to co-ordinate volunteers and deliver bereavement support to families and young people

· Sick Children’s Trust (Leeds) – £7,995.94 to pay for a new kitchen to be installed for the second-floor bedrooms at Eckersley House at the Leeds General Infirmary. The charity provides accommodation for parents whose youngsters are being treated ‘long-term’ in the hospital

· Brainstrust (Yorkshire, North East, North West) – £5,000 to organise face-to-face meet up groups and telephone advice for people across the North suffering from brain tumours

· Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice (West Yorkshire) – £2,200 to pay for a mobile hoist to help children and young people access all parts of the hospice regardless of disability

· Hull Children’s University – £8,554 to deliver health and wellbeing sessions in schools in deprived areas

· Laura Crane Youth Cancer Trust (Leeds, Sheffield and Hull) – £6,900 to fund treats or special memory experiences for teenage cancer patients and their families

· Lymphoma Association (North & Midlands) – £6,000 to deliver workshops to help sufferers cope and ‘Life your Life’ after treatment

· Noah’s Ark Counselling Service (Calderdale) – £3,000 fund its one-to-one support and counselling for children and young people, also utilising therapeutic play

· Shine (Bradford) – £2,000 to support the Shine Little Stars group for children and young people and their families affected by spina bifida

· WHISH (Whitby, North Yorkshire and surrounding areas) – £1,200 to increase the support it can offer to families of children with a ‘hidden impairment’ to weekends and evenings

Jane Tomlinson Appeal Manager Kate Goldring said: “Unfortunately we always have to say ‘no’ to many great organisations as we receive so many applications for funding.

“But saying ‘yes’ and sharing that news with some fantastic organisations is the best part of the job!

“We look forward to seeing the impact of the grants over the next 12 months and will share this news with the incredible fundraisers that make all of this possible, a massive thank you to all of our supporters.”

Samantha Lambert, from Leeds-based SNAPS, said: “We are delighted to receive support from the Jane Tomlinson Appeal.

“The grant will go towards starting our new Saturday trampoline club at Broomfield School, South Leeds.

“The club is aimed at supporting disabled children and their families to experience exciting new activities which they might otherwise be excluded from. The grant will enable us to employ a paediatric physiotherapist and a support worker to ensure everyone, regardless of disability gets to have a bounce.

“This support will give lots of pleasure to very deserving young people; it is very, very much appreciated.”

Pam Thornes, Trust Manager at the Laura Crane Trust, said: “A big thank you to the Jane Tomlinson Appeal for their amazing support for our latest project to support teen and young adult cancer patients through their illness.

“The funds will be used to provide resources for practical support with studies and enabling on-going communication with friends and family or used to fund special treats at the end of treatment for patients to look forward to, or to create special memories for families. The funding will be used throughout the Yorkshire region and will help make an incredible difference to so many young lives throughout the region.”

Natasha Banke, Director at Hull Children’s University, said: “The funding that the Jane Tomlinson Appeal is providing to support our healthy lifestyles project is invaluable.

“We will be able to reach even more children growing up in disadvantaged areas of Hull and the East Riding. The programme impresses upon them the importance of keeping healthy now and for their future. Thank you for supporting us!”

Jonathan Pearce, Chief Executive of the Lymphoma Association, said: “We are extremely grateful to the Jane Tomlinson Appeal for providing us with this grant, which will enable us to implement the Life your Life project and change the lives of people living with, and beyond, lymphoma in the North of England and the Midlands.

“As a systemic cancer that affects the lymphatic system the experiences of people with lymphoma can be different from those with more common cancers.

“As such, a more tailored wellbeing programme is required. By providing essential information and learning on lymphoma and how to live with it, the programme will empower patients to improve their quality of life and adjust to a new norm.”

Kate Steele, Chief Executive, Shine (the spina bifida and hydrocephalus charity), said its donation would be spent working with children and babies and their families in Bradford.

She added: “Shine are really pleased to have been awarded funding through the Jane Tomlinson Appeal. This will enable us to provide early years support groups for families with babies and young children with spina bifida/hydrocephalus in Bradford. Thank you for supporting our work.”

Simon Brook, Commercial Director at Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice, said: “It is through the generosity of organisations like the Jane Tomlinson Appeal that we can keep delivering their aim of saying ‘yes’ to children and families.”

In total, in this round of grant giving, the Appeal gave out £56,472.93 to 12 charities across the North and Midlands.

Jane Tomlinson made headlines across the world by competing in a series of epic endurance challenges from the London Marathon, ironman and triathlon competitions, to a 4,200 mile cycle ride across the width of the USA – despite being diagnosed with incurable cancer.

The appeal she established has so far raised nearly £8m and makes grants across the North and Midlands twice a year.