Together for Short Lives is the UK charity for 54 children’s hospices who provide lifeline care for young children and their families. Since 2016, Hobbycraft has been partnered with Pennies to support the charity, raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for children with life-limiting conditions.
Pennies is an award-winning fintech charity which exists to protect and grow micro-donations – ensuring the public has digital ways to keep donating the small amounts of money that are so vital for charitable causes. Because micro-donations matter – now more than ever.
For the past four years, Hobbycraft shoppers have been donating with Pennies when they make a card purchase in branches of the arts and crafts superstore. Each micro-donation is just 20p, but with over 2 million donations and counting made to date, the impact for charity partner Together For Short Lives has been phenomenal.
Even while stores were temporarily closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the micro-donations made before lockdown have helped Together For Short Lives to keep supporting families receiving care across the UK’s children’s hospice network. One of those families supported is Fraser’s.
In January 2020, mum Carla, dad Stuart, and 13-year-old Stuie, lost their cheeky and loving brother and son Fraser to Coats plus syndrome, a rare and life-limiting condition, but during the final year and half of his life, East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) provided the most incredible care for the whole family.
Fraser was born premature, weighing 660 grams and spending three months in the Special Care Baby Unit. He was then constantly in and out of hospital with chest infections and it soon became apparent Fraser was not developing as hoped.
After multiple appointments, an MRI scan revealed he had calcium deposits on his brain. Unfortunately, doctors were unable to tell his parents what this meant, only that they would be going home with a critically ill child who would be a full-time wheelchair user.
In October 2018, the family started to receive support from EACH after Fraser started deteriorating. A year later, he needed a liver transplant that he could not receive as he would not survive the procedure. The family was told he had just days left to live, but Fraser managed to defeat the odds, lasting seven weeks.
EACH went above and beyond to help the family make the most of every moment. For Fraser’s brother, Stuie, the time was priceless. Stuie was always very close to Fraser, saying:
“Fraser wasn’t just my brother, he was my best friend.”
Overwhelmed by the way EACH gave Stuie the chance to spend precious time together with his brother and inspired by Sir Colonel Tom Moore’s fundraising during the pandemic, Stuie started his own fundraiser, running 5k every day for a month during lockdown. He explained he wanted to give back to the charity, not just for the care Fraser received, but the support him and his parents were offered.
Mum, Carla said:
“He wanted to raise £500, but he has already doubled that! We’re so proud of him for not just what he is doing now, but Fraser was lucky to have him as his brother.
“He ran 5k every day and the first day he came in and his legs ached he said: ‘But Fraser was always in pain and more than just achy legs’.”
Needing to use a children’s hospice service is every parent’s worst nightmare, but these services help families face the unimaginable every day, making memories to cherish along the way.
With stores now reopened, you can continue to support families like Fraser’s by topping up your purchase with a few extra pennies when you are next shopping at Hobbycraft. Your micro-donations matter hugely for Together for Short Lives, the children’s hospices they support and the families that need a lifeline.