It's the little local charity with the big national profile.

And despite one major setback the Laura Crane Youth Cancer Trust (LCYCT) had a successful 2014 and is hoping for an even better 2015.

The charity, which funds research into cancers affecting teenagers and young adults, was itself hit by cancer.

Trust manager Pam Thornes was diagnosed with breast cancer and spent much of 2014 battling the disease.

Temporarily losing a director can cause a major headache for any organisation.

But when the organisation has only three paid staff it’s particularly devastating.

Thankfully, fundraising manager Helen Mervill, officer manager Sarah-Jane Ainley and their team of volunteers pulled out all the stops while Pam was undergoing treatment and recuperating.

And it’s been a very eventful year for the Turnbridge-based charity, which began 18 years ago from a house in Edgerton.

The Trust has funded cutting-edge research into cancers affecting people aged 13 to 25.

It has raised £82,000 for treatment into ovarian and testicular cancers at St James’s Hospital Leeds and has provided £25,000 for a project at Plymouth University to develop drugs for treating brain cancers which begin in childhood and early adolescence.

And it isn’t just research that the trust has been funding.

The charity has been raising awareness of teenage cancers at schools and colleges in Kirklees and around the UK, particularly during its Youth Against Cancer Week in October.

And LCYCT has made scores of young cancer patients’ lives a little bit easier this year.

The charity raised £20,000 towards a chillout space at St James’ Hospital and it sponsored a patient support worker in hospitals around Sheffield.

LCYCT has been supplying laptops for oncology (cancer treatment) wards so young patients can keep in touch with their friends via social media while undergoing treatment.

But most of all, LCYCT has been delivering 105 Christmas gift packs to 43 hospitals in the UK and Ireland.

A previous recipient was 19-year-old Jacob Simpson, of Keighley, who was undergoing bone cancer treatment.

Jacob said: “I had to go on December 27 to the Sick Kids (Royal Hospital for Sick Children) in Edinburgh for three days of chemo.

“Waiting for me was a lovely Christmas bag full of presents. It was a really lovely surprise and it really cheered me up.”

Pam herself is now in remission following a double mastectomy and has been back at work for several months.

She said: “Even though it was a difficult year, the charity has moved forward and is still meeting its aims and it’s still about young people. For me, I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved.”

In the coming months, LCYCT has a host of fundraising events including a boat race at Pugneys Country Park, Wakefield and ‘chocathon’, ‘pieathon’ and ‘wineathon’ fun runs.

Suits you sir! C&J Antich donates £50,000 worth of suits to Laura Crane Teenage Cancer Trust  

There will also be a Youth Against Cancer Week skydive and a Spectacular September fundraising push.

The charity is hoping to supply more laptops to hospitals across the UK and it will continue to sponsor cutting-edge research.

Pam said: “As a small charity we have achieved so much.

“We’re very proactive in reaching the aims of the charity whether that’s vital medical research or support mechanisms for helping young cancer patients.

“But what we do wouldn’t happen without the support of people out there.”

LCYCT was founded in memory of Edgerton teenager Laura Crane, who died aged 17 in 1996 from mixture of cancers.

For more information visit: www.lauracranetrust.org .

Its patron is comedian and actress Catherine Tate.

Huddersfield teenager Laura Crane, who inspired the charity