The charity which won last year’s Wish campaign is setting up an ambitious new community project.

But for it to get off the ground it needs Huddersfield’s tradesmen to rally round.

Ruddi’s Retreat founder Ali Jones has just got the lease on a large shop unit in Linthwaite which is to be transformed into a coffee shop and will also become the charity’s new headquarters.

But it needs an awful lot of work doing on it first.

The coffee shop will be named Ruddi’s after Ali’s four-year-old son, Ruddi, who was just over six months old when he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer on his bladder and prostate. He went through months of treatment and lost his bladder and prostate in the process.

He took his first steps on a respite holiday at Primrose Valley after enduring chemotherapy which left him with very weak bones.

It inspired Ali to set up the charity which has since bought two large caravans at Primrose Valley near Filey on Yorkshire’s east coast.

Now the charity is raising money to buy a wooden lodge which will probably be sited near Blackpool. It will cost £120,000 and so far they have £20,000 towards it.

The charity provides seaside respite for families with children affected by cancer, life-limiting illnesses and bereavement and is helping dozens of families a year.

Ali said: “Our ambition is to open the coffee shop on December 1 and we had the lease from Sunday.

“It was formerly Colne Valley Cycles and is a large unit inside which means we will be able to move our office there from its current base at the Ray Street Enterprise Centre.”

 

The coffee shop will raise money for a range of cancer charities along with Ruddi’s Retreat.

Ali said: “I wanted to do something a little different so we will be putting on special coffee mornings for people affected by cancers.”

The coffee shop will serve lunches and Ali’s ambition is to also stage some special fundraising gourmet evenings too.

But to get up and running it also needs fridges, freezes, a cooker hood, a till, tables, chairs, a coffee maker, kitchen cupboards and cutlery.

Ali is pleading with tradesmen from Huddersfield to help do the unit up – and in return they will be promoted within it.

She said: “We need everything from plastering to plumbing and from electrics to painters and decorators.”

Ruddi’s Retreat won last year’s Wish campaign by collecting the largest number of cut-out tokens from the Examiner – 27,000.

“It was a brilliant team effort by all our volunteers, their relatives and friends,” said Ali. “I can’t thank everyone enough for all they did last year and we are signing up for Wish 2013.”

Anyone who can help should contact Nicola Woodward on 07852 943747.