STUDENTS from Huddersfield University have raised £1,000 for teenage cancer charity The Laura Crane Trust.
And it’s just the latest donation to a remarkable charity appeal, set up by a Huddersfield mum.
The university’s Marketing Society raised the cash with a series of events, including a ‘battle of the bands’, a cocktail party, charity golf day, an art auction and a Culture Shock fashion show.
All the events were designed and promoted by final year business and marketing students as part of their degree courses. All the profits were donated to The Laura Crane Trust, which will also be the chosen charity for the society next year.
Paul Wainwright, president of The Marketing Society, said: “The Laura Crane Trust was the obvious choice because it helps people our age and has its headquarters in Huddersfield. We were glad we were able to assist them.”
The Trust was set up by the family of Huddersfield girl Laura Crane, who died from a complex mix of cancers just after her 17th birthday in May 1996.
Her mother, Jacqui Roeder, has led the appeal. She said: “The charity is for young people and it is nice that people of that age group actively try and help, like students from universities and colleges. We get a lot of support from young people.”
The Trust funds research into cancers affecting 13 to 25-year-olds and provides activities and facilities for sufferers in the 23 UK hospitals that admit young cancer patients.
Fundraising manager Pam Thornes explained why the activities are so important.
“Only eight of the 23 hospitals have dedicated youth cancer units. That means young people under 16 can be on children’s wards and those over 16 are on adult wards, neither of which are appropriate.
“It excludes them socially and from specialist treatments for their age group.
“We make funds available to help lighten and brighten the days of these young people facing harsh and invasive treatments for their cancer.”
The charity reached its first million pounds this year and has a host of projects planned to help it on its way to £2m.
A fundraising Fright Night will be held on September 29, at the Bolling Hall Museum at Bradford. Daredevils who raise £100 for the Trust will be able to spend the night with ghost hunters at the museum from 9pm to 6am.
The Trust will also be holding its annual ball on November 10 at the Cedar Court Hotel in Bradford – this year with a Hollywood theme. A charity auction will be hosted by the charity’s patron, TV comedian Catherine Tate, who will be bringing a special prize.
Other prizes at the £55-a-head event include flights to Hollywood and VIP trips around Universal Studios.
The charity will also be running its Christmas appeal, asking people to raise funds to buy gifts for young people who have to spend the festive season in hospital.
Last year, 150 MP3 players were sent out to young cancer patients who were stuck in hospital on Christmas Day.
The Laura Crane Trust is planning to spend some of its funds on a secure online communication service, allowing young patients across the country to talk to each other over the internet. The Trust has received a £10,000 Awards For All grant to develop the technology and hopes to have a model within a month.
Mrs Thornes said: “What we find is that young people in hospital are lonely and isolated. They are often not in hospitals close to home and most of their friends can’t get to visit them.
“This system will help them get peer support and eventually we would like to extend the service so their families can use it too.”
The Laura Crane Trust is also on a mission to boost its profile in the next year and aims to recruit ambassadors that appeal to young people, such as sporting figures, to promote the charity’s work across the UK.
Mrs Thornes said: “Everybody’s heard of us but they don’t really know what we do or that we are a national charity.
“We have a DVD on our website, introduced by Catherine Tate, which explains what we do and why. I would advise anyone to watch it.”
The charity will also be raising its profile during Youth Against Cancer Week in October.
It will be distributing information packs to schools across the UK to help educate pupils about cancers affecting young people.
The Laura Crane Trust website is www.lauracranetrust.org.