Thanet community news: Bike donation for determined Ellis, Little Sunshine award, QEQM, funding offer and Martha Trust

Ellis, with family and Wanderers members, was given a bike by The Bike Shed

The Bike Shed in Westbrook has donated a bike to a determined Thanet teenager who is taking on a charity challenge after beating cancer.

The Bike Shed, which is a Thanet Wanderers sponsor, was approached by the club after they received a request for help.

Matt Wakefield, head of PE at St Georges School in Broadstairs, asked the Wanderers if they could help Ellis Dockerty, 13, get a bike to help him fully regain fitness. The Bike Shed offered a donation and also volunteered to source a suitable bike.

Matt has been assisting Dane Court student Ellis to get back to full fitness so he can take part in a 25Km sixteen bridges walk in London in September to raise funds for childhood cancer charity Clic Sargent.

The charity  helped Ellis and his family during the months the brave youngster underwent lengthy chemotherapy treatment in his struggle with bone cancer and a bout of Covid-19.

Ellis and mum Gemma Griffin, her partner, Ellis’s dad and grandad will all take on the walk for the charity.

Ellis was diagnosed with rare bone cancer osteosarcoma in December 2019 after discovering a lump on his knee the previous month.

Nine months of chemotherapy, operations and lots of tests and scans followed. The youngster underwent a biopsy at Stanmore hospital and started chemotherapy in last year January.

In March 2020 he returned to Stanmore for an operation where 20cm of thigh bone, shin and knee joint was removed and replaced with a metal rod which bends and will ‘grow’ as Ellis does.

That op meant he would be expected to use a wheelchair, with patients generally not being able to walk for 12 weeks.

But Ellis stood the next day, was taking the stairs by day three and was riding his bike after just nine weeks!

More chemo followed that operation but Ellis was determined to beat the odds.

Ellis has made a determined recovery

He said: “I was determined not to let cancer take anything else away from me, so I worked hard to get back to walking and moving around with no support. I was standing less than 24 hours after my surgery, walking on day two, walking upstairs on day three and home by day four. I didn’t want to rely on crutches or a wheelchair, I wanted to be me again.”

Another battle ensued when Ellis tested positive for covid last July.

Despite the complications Ellis finished his chemo and rang the ‘end of treatment’ bell in Regents Park last August.

He said: “Through all of this, my Mum and I were supported by an amazing charity and we were allocated a lovely social worker called Becky. She helped me get lots of surprise gifts, which cheered me up during my horrible chemo weeks, including a pair of Converse shoes painted by an artist!

“She also helped my mum organise a Limo to pick us up after ringing the bell, which took us all the way home. My mum is on a Facebook group for parents with children with cancer, which is also run by the charity and I know this has been helpful to her.

“My mum did a skydive for them and she raised £2000…. and I desperately want to beat her!

Ellis and mum Gemma last year

“So in September, myself, my mum, my mum’s boyfriend, my dad, my grandma and my grandad are all doing a 25km walk in London, past 16 London Bridges to raise money for the charity.

“When we travelled up to London each week for chemotherapy, we used to drive past a few of the bridges and even drove past them in the Limo on the last day, so they have become a huge part of my journey.

“I can’t wait to walk past them, knowing it is all over and knowing I can help an amazing charity support other families going through what I did.”

Ellis and his family were recently joined by members of Thanet Wanderers –  Chairman Chris Panteli, Marketing Director Andy Bull, Head of Sponsorship Peter Ruranski and Club Captain Sam Taylor – to receive his bike from The Bike Shed.

Team Ellis has a £5,000 fundraising target.

Click here for the Team Ellis fundraising page

Clic Sargent

CLIC Sargent provides grants and free accommodation close to hospital to help families with spiralling costs. The care teams are on hand to help families with everything from getting benefits to gaining treatment closer to home and provide valuable support.

Find out more here

Little Sunshine Award

Morrisons supermarkets are recognising young people who have gone the extra mile for their community and the staff at Morrisons Margate have chosen Macy Shaw to be their “Little Sunshine”.

Lorraine, the Community Champion at Morrisons, said: “Macy has adopted the street where she lives and has regularly litter picked over the last year, through the lockdowns.  She can regularly be seen out with her litter picker in her Cub uniform.

“This young lady has gone above and beyond to help her local community and has definitely brought a “Ray of Sunlight” to her neighbourhood.”

Ten-year-old Macy, a member of the 1st St Johns Cubs, has worked hard to help others and is a real inspiration to us all.  Staff at Morrisons are proud to recognise Macy’s hard work and selflessness.

QEQM Hospital League of Friends

Thanks to the kindness & generosity of our donors & fundraisers we continue to support our local hospital  and are delighted another item we funded – a Resuscitaire, a multifunctional machine used for neonatal care – is already proving so useful.

Paediatric Senior Sister & Emergency Nurse Practitioner Cat Miller said: “The Resuscitaire is going to make a huge and positive difference to the newborns and babies attending the Children’s Emergency Department. A week after the machine arrived it aided a beautiful baby girl born in our Department and has subsequently been used for other patients showing its existence to be invaluable. A great big thank-you to the League of Friends from all the staff and patients who will benefit so significantly from the Resuscitaire.”

If you’d like to support us donations can be made or fundraising facilitated online at www.justgiving.com/leagueoffriendsofqeqmhospital and more information about our charity is available on our Facebook page or our website www.ekhuft.nhs.uk/lof-QEQM

Building Futures funding

Housebuilder Persimmon Homes South East has launched a £1million charity giveaway to support young people across Britain.

The Building Futures scheme aims to support community groups working with under-18s across three categories – education and arts, health and sport.

Brendon O’Neill, managing director for Persimmon Homes South East, said: “Young people are at the heart of all our futures, and we are fortunate to be able to provide support and help create positive outcomes through our Building Futures campaign.

“We will make donations from £1,000 to £100,000 to grassroots sports groups, charities dealing with physical and mental health issues, as well as community arts and education projects.

“As we are emerging from the global pandemic, we believe that now more than ever we need to look after the health and wellbeing of our communities.

“Persimmon already donates £768,000 each year to good causes through its Community Champions funding programme and through Building Futures, we are dedicating help exclusively to the younger members of our society.”

Building Futures is delivered through the Persimmon Charitable Foundation in partnership with Team GB, the British Olympic Association, and the company enlisted the help of Olympic gold medal winning cyclist Dani Rowe to launch the scheme.

Dani said: “This initiative is a superb way of supporting young people across our communities and I would encourage anyone who is eligible to apply for funding. These sums of money can be life-changing and could make a real difference to the recipients.”

A total of 128 grants of £1,000 will be awarded across Persimmon’s 32 regional businesses to improve local facilities and the delivery of vital community projects.

Three initiatives will go on to win £100,000 each through a national online public vote. The winners will be named at a grand final in November.

In each sector – education and arts, health and sport – as well as the £100,000 first prize, there will be a £50,000 second prize and a £20,000 third prize, while a further 87 shortlisted projects will each receive £5,000.

Brendon O’Neill added: “We are looking for groups, charities and individuals who have amazing ideas on how to spend the big cash prizes to come forward.  We will consider anything – from new clubhouses and kit to education and arts centres, research and support.”

Applications close at midnight on August 15.

To find out more about Building Futures or to apply visit www.persimmonhomes.com/charity/building-futures

Martha Trust

Kerry Banks from the Martha Trust

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that the smallest things can make the biggest impact and there is no better example of that than Run for Heroes.

That is the charity, which started the infamous 5km running challenge – Run 5, Donate 5, Nominate 5 – during the first lockdown.

What started as a plan to raise £5,000 for NHS charities at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic went completely viral on social media, becoming a major fitness motivation and fundraising tool for more than a million people.

Since its humble beginnings in 2020, Run For Heroes has raised more than £7 million for NHS Charities and founder Olivia Strong has been awarded an MBE.

After the success of the original fundraiser, the nation is once again being encouraged to get active in the name of charity as lockdown restrictions continue to ease.

Run for Heroes is launching its latest challenge by turning the month of May into a celebration of physical activity with their 5kMay campaign. Everyone is invited to take part, including Martha Trust supporters.

As the name suggests, it is all about getting fit and hitting that 5km target. It is not just about running though – you could walk, roll, skip or even swim your 5 kilometres if you wish!

All that matters is getting your body moving and raising vital funds for a charity of your choosing.

Run For Heroes has partnered with a host of charities across the UK for 5kMay, such as Martha Trust, with participants encouraged to consider donating to causes such  as Martha Trust after completing their challenge.

Fundraising & Events Officer Kerry Banks BEM said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Run for Heroes to encourage people to take part in the challenge and fundraise for Martha. This event really is accessible for all as it isn’t just about running – you can complete your 5k by any method! You can take part on your own or as a group, donate your £5 to Martha Trust , then nominate 5 friends or family members to complete their own 5km challenge. “

With famous faces like Mo Farah, Ellie Goulding and even Prime Minister Boris Johnson backing previous Run For Heroes challenges, you may even spot a celebrity while out on your 5kMay journey. Sign up to the challenge at www.runforheroes.org.uk now!

Any questions or if you would like to purchase a charity T Shirt for your challenge, please contact the fundraising team at fundraising@marthatrust.org.uk or phone 01304 610448