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Saturday, 19 September 2020


Young supporters help local children’s charity

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THREE young people in Sussex have been using their time in lock-down to find inspiring ways to support Rockinghorse.

Oscar Webb, aged ten, was talking to his father Mike about how much money charities had lost due to the cancellations of marathons and sporting events. It was at that point that he decided to do something to raise money for Rockinghorse.

A keen cyclist, he first thought that he would cycle 26 miles as part of the 2.6 challenge but then decided that would be too easy and not enough of a challenge! So instead he decided to do four marathon cycles over seven days, making a total of 104 miles and raising £735.

Mike was supportive but wasn’t sure about this much longer challenge, he said:

“I was a little apprehensive at first about how it would go, so we didn’t start fundraising until after the first ride. But Oscar was so determined and never once complained or wanted to stop.

“After each ride, Oscar would collapse on the floor when we got home, but as he told me ‘It’s better than doing math’s at home!’ It was wonderful to get out, spend some lovely father and son time together and raise money for a wonderful charity.”

In Oscar’s own words, ‘It was hard at first, but it got easier as we went on. I’m happy because we’re helping other children in Brighton.’

Molly Taylor, aged 6, decided to take a slightly different route for her fundraising. She decided to put her artistic talents to good use and open an online Etsy shop to sell her creations.

Molly makes beautiful felt cards, framed pictures and gifts for any occasion and gives 20% of all her profits to Rockinghorse. Her mum Jodie helped her set up the shop as it needed an adult to run it but in terms of the creative side, that’s all Molly.

Mollie making her creations

Jodie said:

“She discovered the needle felting technique and it’s gone from there. She’s always been crafty but what’s lovely about this is it’s something that she can do independently. The shop is going really well and she’s getting lots of orders.”

Molly explained why she wanted to raise money for the charity, she said:

“When I was a toddler, I came to the Brighton Children hospital because I was having difficulty breathing. I spent a few weeks in hospital. Brighton’s Children’s Hospital saved my life. So, I wanted to raise money to help the hospital to save other children’s lives which is why I chose the Rockinghorse Children’s Charity.”

Molly’s shop has now been running for a couple of weeks and has already raised nearly £50 for the charity.

Twelve-year-old Lauren Wills from Brighton also put her artistic skills to good use, creating a range of items to sell from a stall outside her home.

She painted cups and saucers, drinks mats and wind chimes with beautiful patterns and messages, selling them from her stall them to passers-by on their daily walks. She was careful to stick to the social distancing rules, but this didn’t stop lots of people buying the items and helping her raise £100.

Lauren with her stall

Lauren explained how much she enjoyed the process, she said:

“Sometimes being stuck at home can be a bit boring so I thought about using some of my time over half term to do something creative. My mum had some tableware that she was going to get rid of, so I used them to paint messages and patterns on and my aunty gave me the wind-chimes, so I decorated them as well!

“I wanted to raise money for Rockinghorse because of all the support they give to children. I know lots of people who have been looked after at the Royal Alex, including my cousin, and wanted to help them, especially at the moment.”

So far, these three committed fundraisers have raised nearly £900 for Rockinghorse, an amazing amount and one which will really help towards funding for vital services and equipment for young people in Sussex.

Hollie Trezise, Schools and Community Fundraising Manager at Rockinghorse reflected on how grateful the charity is for this support, she said:

“Fundraising by our younger supporters is especially touching as it’s children raising money for children. They understand the important role that Rockinghorse and the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital plays in so many young people’s lives and want to help where they can.”

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