Monday, 15 April 2024
Monday, 15 April 2024

Oscar star backed ‘Fund for Freya’ now set to help others

MOTHER Carolynne Hunter has now diverted the GoFundMe campaign, set up to allow actress Kate Winslet to help with the family’s soaring energy costs for daughter Freya’s medical equipment, to the Together for Short Lives Support Fund to help other families in the UK.

The Go Fund Me page, which was set up when Hollywood A-lister, Kate Winslet, wanted to support the family with their spiralling bills, has now raised over £35k to date, due to the incredible generosity of the public, to help the Hunter family keep Freya, 13, comfortable at home. Now, mum, Carolynne wants more families to get financial help too and has decided to divert further donations to the new emergency fund.

Many families caring for a seriously ill child across the UK are dependent on vital equipment to keep their child alive, like Freya. The new Cost of Living Support Fund from the UK charity for children’s palliative care, Together for Short Lives, will ensure these struggling families receive much-needed aid. 

Soaring energy bills are affecting most of the population, but for mothers like Carolynne, they have no choice as they need to run the necessary equipment to keep their child alive.

Carolynne said:

“We were faced with the prospect of not being able to care for our daughter Freya at home due to the rising costs, and so I have been campaigning since March. It was devasting to even consider putting Freya in to care, but we were running out of options. And I know we are not alone in this heartbreak.

“We were humbled by Kate Winslet’s donation, and everybody else’s kindness, and indeed Kate’s commitment to highlighting this very real struggle we face, and many, many more do too. She has shone a light on families like mine, and that means so much to us. But celebrities shouldn’t have to pay our bills, which is why I am continuing to fight for other families like mine.

“We now know we can pay our bills to keep our beautiful daughter Freya by our side and make sure she is comfortable and cared for with love all around. But we wanted our story to also help others trying desperately to be heard too. That is why we decided to divert any more donations to the Together for Short Lives Cost of Living Support Fund, so together we can help as many families and seriously ill children as possible right now.”

There are an estimated 3,000 seriously ill children requiring long-term ventilation to stay alive, and around 6,000 are dependent on ‘assistive technology’ in the UK. Many of the families are just not able to pay the energy costs associated with running this equipment.

Kate Winslet said she was deeply moved by Freya’s story and the fact that mum Carolynne was having to think of putting Freya in care because the soaring energy bills ‘destroyed’ her, which is why she made a sizable donation to help the family. 

The Hunter family were moved to tears at the Oscar-winning actress’ generosity, as well as the incredible generosity of members of the public, and are so grateful that they could now concentrate on spending quality time with Freya, who has severe cerebral palsy.

Now thanks to Carolynne’s efforts, more families will get the help they need for their children, allowing them to look forward to Christmas, which for some will sadly be their last.

Carolynne added:

“I am so glad that what was a heartbreaking situation for us has now led to the possibility of helping many, many others in the same position. We are indebted to Kate Winslet, her generosity, and her unbelievable support, as well as everybody else who has donated, to helping families like ours be heard and helped.” 

Together for Short Lives is offering families in the UK a grant of £250 to help with spiralling energy costs. The additional money raised from the GoFundMe campaign, along with direct donations to the appeal page:  will help these families who previously had nowhere to turn.  

Families that care for a child that depends on assistive technology to stay alive can call the helpline 0808 8088 100 Mon-Fri 9am-4pm to see if they are eligible for Together for Short Lives Cost of Living Support Fund.  


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