Local charity Abby’s Heroes has received a massive £16,252 boost from staff at the Southampton office of Irwin Mitchell, following a year of fundraising.
Irwin Mitchell staff spent 12 months doing everything from the local 10k race to the Southampton Marathon to raise money for a charity committed to supporting children and their families who come under the care of paediatric oncology and haematology wards at Southampton General Hospital. The money allows this vital work to continue, including giving every patient who completes treatment a £200 voucher to spend on themselves, while offering a lifeline to those facing financial hardship as a result of the aftermath of a devastating diagnosis.
Abby’s Heroes was set up in memory of Abby Randall, who was treated by the hospital for a rare type of bone cancer. Despite going into remission in 2014 following chemotherapy, radiotherapy, stem cell harvesting and pioneering surgery, the family were given devastating news that the cancer had returned on Boxing Day the same year. Brave Abby died in May 2016, aged just 11 and her parents, Sally and David, set up the charity the same year to help others on the wards, to make memories with their families, while offering practical and financial help at a traumatic time, when people need support the most.
Abby’s Heroes was chosen as the Southampton office Charity of the Year as part of the Irwin Mitchell Charities Foundation (IMCF) programme. Established in 1997, the IMCF is an independent registered charity which, thanks to recent efforts, has donated more than £2 million to good causes throughout the UK and £284,000 in 2018 alone, including over £16,000 for Abby’s Heroes.
Charity founder and Abby’s mum, Sally, said:
‘As a family who’ve gone through it, we are acutely aware of what a traumatic and frightening journey it can be for both the child and their families. They face months or years of treatment, are often separated for long periods, as parents need to stay with the child, but also may have siblings that need looking after as well. Jobs are put on hold and inevitably financial implications start to hit home, this puts a massive strain on families as normal life ceases to exist.
‘Abby’s Heroes has been set up entirely with this in mind so we’re so grateful for the £16,252 raised by Irwin Mitchell staff. It’s an amazing sum of money and the support provided by the Charity of the Year programme will enable us to continue offering practical and financial help to more families going through these very difficult times.’
Guy Darlaston, regional managing partner at Irwin Mitchell’s Southampton office, said:
‘Abby’s Heroes is a fantastic local charity and the whole office is proud to have raised such a huge amount of money for them. We have helped some incredible causes over the years with the Charity of the Year programme and Abby’s Heroes is a worthy addition. The charity gives families the breathing space they need to face a moment terrible enough, without having to choose between family and finance at a time all of us hope we will never have to face ourselves.’