Tragedy child's fund in £16k charities aid

This Is Wiltshire: From left, Richard Crowley (CALM), Annette and Tim Shakespeare, Claire Shovelton (CLIC Sargent) and Caroline Sinclair (Ronald McDonald House). Picture: VICKY SCIPIO From left, Richard Crowley (CALM), Annette and Tim Shakespeare, Claire Shovelton (CLIC Sargent) and Caroline Sinclair (Ronald McDonald House). Picture: VICKY SCIPIO

A FUND set up in memory of 10-year-old Ruby Shakespeare, who died of a brain tumor in 2011, has come on leaps and bounds over the last year.

Ruby’s Fat Cow fund on Saturday presented £16,000 to four charities which helped Ruby through the tough period at her former school, Lethbridge Primary.

The total was £4,000 more than the previous year, and will be split equally between CLIC Sargent, Ronald McDonald House, CALM, the children’s cancer and leukemia movement, and the Samantha Dickson Brain Tumour Trust.

More than 100 people gathered for the special Christmas party, which marked the second birthday of the fund.

Annette Shakespeare, 40, Ruby’s mother, said: “This is a celebration of how well the charity has done and a thankyou to all our friends.

“The whole thing has snowballed. It has been like a chain reaction.

“What has touched many people is a lot of them knew Ruby, and her diagnosis was so sudden it made all of us catch our breath.

“Nobody is immune to cancer.

“I think she would be overwhelmed by all of this. She was the type of girl who didn’t make a fuss.

“She would be very proud, because she would want to stop this disease from affecting other children. Everything we try and do in her name is in keeping with her and her personality."

The charities allowed Ruby to have access to home support, and put her family in special rooms in John Radcliffe Hospital, in Oxford, when she had to be admitted.

“Had it not been for these charities I would have had to make the trip from Swindon to Oxford every day,” added Annette. “I would have had to sleep in the car.

“One night she woke up and just asked for me, and I was able to be with her within three minutes. “She was scared and nobody else would do. It offers family space for a bit of normality. When your life has been turned upside down and everything is up in the air, the little things make a lot of difference.”

Annette and Tim’s friends, Tina People and Karen Jones, organised the event.

Karen said: “It is a charity close to both our hearts. We both have children at Lethbridge who were about Ruby’s age.”

Tina said: “I have known them both for about 17 years and they are very good friends. It is such a worthwhile charity, and it doesn’t take much for us to do something for them here and there.”

Claire Shovelton, area fundraising manager for CLIC Sargent, said: “This is hugely important for us, and it is a remarkable amount of money. It will fund one of our social workers for a month.”

Caroline Sinclair, for Ronald McDonald House, said: “Not a lot of people know we exist, so it is great to have this kind of support.

“We have 18 rooms at the top of John Ratcliffe hospital so we can make it more of a home for families.”


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