Virgin Trains, official charity partner of CLIC Sargent, invited the local Greenwood family on the Train of Hope, a fundraising event that has raised over £35,000 for families affected by childhood cancer.
Hayley Greenwood, 21, from Leyland, was supported by the charity when she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in May 2006.
Her mum Ann and Hayley embarked from Crewe station on a 1920s steam train, which was waved off by train enthusiast Pete Waterman.
Mum Ann said: “We were absolutely delighted to be invited on the Train of Hope and we had an absolutely fantastic time. The past few years haven’t been easy, so this was a really lovely treat.
“After a cancer diagnosis, your life completely changes. As well as undergoing treatment, Hayley, who was just about to turn sixteen, had to leave school so she missed out on parts of her education and being with her mates. She also lost her hair, which really knocked her confidence.
“Thankfully our CLIC Sargent Young People’s Social Worker, Elizabeth stepped in giving us all the information we needed and was there any time for a chat.
“She also helped out by applying for benefits and sorting out activity days for Hayley, so she could meet other young people going through similar experiences.”
All the money raised through the Train of Hope will help CLIC Sargent to support families like the Greenwoods, across the UK. Locally, the charity funds specialist care professionals at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, and Christie Hospital.
The Train of Hope took passengers on a return journey from Crewe to Carlisle, travelling through beautiful Lake District and Yorkshire Dales countryside and returning on the historic Settle – Carlisle line.
Pete Waterman, record producer, owns LNWR Heritage, a steam locomotive and carriage restoration company based at Crewe Heritage Centre, was there supporting the event.
Lucy Knight, CLIC Sargent’s Regional Corporate Fundraising Manager says:
“Every cancer journey is different and a diagnosis can impact a family in many different ways, from covering mounting travel costs to travel to hospital for treatment, to the isolation a child or young person might feel having to take time out from school.
“Thank you Virgin Trains, for making a real difference by launching the Train of Hope – a fantastic fundraising event. Lack of funds means that CLIC Sargent can only help two out of three children and young people with cancer – that’s why support, through events like this, makes such a difference.”
CLIC Sargent is Virgin Trains’ first official charity. So far the partnership has generated over £320,000 and Virgin Trains has recently committed to support CLIC Sargent until 2012.