Did you know that around 1,400 children in the UK are diagnosed with cancer each year? It’s a terrifying number to come to terms with and every parent’s worst nightmare. Here at Berry’s, we like to get involved with causes that mean a lot to us, and no issue resonates more with us than children and their families who are going through utter turmoil as they come to terms with beating cancer. That’s why UK-based charity Give A Duck [registered charity no 1164904] is our chosen foundation for helping this year. Berry’s Charity Scheme 2020 will see us kick-start the year by fundraising for this charity who have collaborated with the Leeds Children’s Hospital to provide support, care and love for children battling cancer.
Andrew and Karen set the charity up after having experienced first hand what it was like being parents to a loved little one with cancer. Realising how much Chemo Duck helped offer emotional and mental support to their son Harry, who was diagnosed with cancer seven years ago, they set up the Charity to help a child understand and deal with each treatment they will face in their long road to recovery. The duck provides comfort and support at every doctor’s appointment, chemotherapy session or blood taking procedure, and is fitted with medical lines and ports that mirror the treatment undergone by the child.
The Chemo Duck which has become a mascot for older children, as well as an emotional lifeline for little ones, is used by Play Leaders in play therapy as an integral part of the recovery process. Children can name their Chemo Duck and dress it in outfits that have been made and donated by volunteers in the community – the little soft cuddly has become a loved and well-known icon by supporters, care-givers and local organisations who have backed the charity.
Fundraising amongst Berry’s staff has already got off to a great start with staff members donating their pennies instead of sending Christmas cards at the back-end of last year. For 2020 a sponsored walk is being organised on the Northumberland coast, along with the Manchester Marathon in April.
Simon Oxby, Berry’s Group Operations Manager said –
“After many years helping many charities on an ad hoc basis, we are now delighted to be launching the inaugural Berry’s Charity Scheme Partnership for 2020 with the Give A Duck Foundation. We wanted to focus on one main charity per year and Give A Duck seemed to be a very deserving charity to support during 2020. Our staff regularly take part in fundraising efforts with both local and national charities and we want to improve and hopefully increase the amount we raise by being more united in our approach. We realise that many Charities are underfunded and under pressure to raise money and we want to try and help them. We have decided that the best way to do this is to ask Registered charities to approach us directly during December each year and apply for their charity to be our chosen charity for the year ahead.”
It costs around £50 to supply a child with a Give A Duck charity pack which not only includes the Chemo Duck and a Huggable Hope duck to help the siblings of each child to come to terms with a change in their life but also information and activity books and a set of crayons, all presented in a brightly coloured rucksack.
Details of Berrys Charity Scheme is on our Charity page.