A local charity, created in memory of a Whitley Bay boy has donated almost £18,000 to St Oswald’s since it was set up in 2014.
The Good Will Cause was founded by the Woods family in memory of their son, Will, who died suddenly in June 2014 from Burkitt Lymphoma, a rare form of cancer, aged just 5.
Will’s family were supported after his death by our Family Support Team, and his older sister Freya met regularly with Bereavement Support Coordinator Brenda Clayton. Freya was also invited to attend our ‘Ozzy Day’ sessions for bereaved children.
To thank the Hospice for the support we offered, and continue to do so, the Woods family decided that money raised by The Good Will Cause should benefit St Oswald’s, along with the North of England Children’s Cancer Research Fund.
Since The Good Will Cause was set up, the charity has tirelessly fundraised, harnessing the support of the local community where Will was well known and loved. A range of events and activities have seen the total raised grow including sporting challenges, cake bakes and parties.
The Good Will Cause’s fundraising was boosted in 2017 with a team of 23 young runners aged 7-13 representing the charity in the Junior Great North Run. Will’s Mum and Good Will Cause Chair, Louise Woods said:
We have fantastic supporters young and old. One of these groups is the Whitley Bay under 11s football team. The Good Will Cause sponsored the team and they wear our name with pride. They wanted to do more and felt the Junior Great North Run was a great way to raise awareness and raise funds.
All the runners absolutely loved the day and so many have signed up again for 2018. The kids enjoyed every bit of the run from the start to finish; everyone took the fundraising and training really seriously. Jude, Sonny and Lily are family friends and have run for Will every year. They were so touched this year when St Oswald’s tweeted them Good Luck on the day! Lily is my daughter Freya’s best pal and Jude and Sonny’s dad Paul Norris is one of our charity’s Trustees. Then there are other young people on board like Lewis, Matty and Sammy who now fundraise every year because it means something as a personal and community gesture.
The Good Will Cause runners raised £1,318.58 from their Great North Run efforts which will help our Family Support Team to be there for more families like the Woods. Combined with their other fundraising efforts, this brings their total raised for St Oswald’s to date to £18,000.
One of the ways this money will make a difference is though the funding of Ozzy Days for children and young people aged from 5 - 15. Using arts, crafts, music and storytelling, our team work with the children to help them to express thoughts and feelings associated with illness and the death of their loved one.
Helen Alderson, Fundraiser at St Oswald’s finished:
We can’t thank The Good Will Cause enough for their fundraising efforts for the Hospice. We have to raise over £7 million each year to keep our service free for those who need it and are so grateful for the continued support of local people like Louise and her family.