A MEMORIAL fund set up by the parents of an Alnwick boy who died aged just seven months has received a massive boost, thanks to an auction held in Bedfordshire.
The Joshua James Prime Forever Fund was created by his parents Rachael and Darren, after their son suddenly lost his life to pneumococcal meningitis in March this year.
To date, the couple have raised £20,000 for research into the devastating illness, and most recently they travelled with Alnwick friends and supporters to Biggleswade – where Rachael’s family lives – to take part in an event organised by Joshua’s grandmother, Diane, and his auntie, Becky.
CalledA Night to Remember, it included a raffle, auction, buffet and a disco, which raised a grand total of £5,065.
Among the items donated were a laptop computer, track days driving classic cars, a day for two people at the world-famous Champneys Spa, two tickets to see Manchester United play Wigan and a framed Arsenal football shirt signed by club legend Dennis Bergkamp, plus dozens of luxury items including Champagne, hampers and jewellery.
It was the latest in a line of fund-raisers held in the town, such as a fancy dress pub-crawl and a Hallowe’en disco arranged by the Biggleswade Beavers and Cubs groups.
Similar events have also been taking place in tandem in Alnwick, with a charity Zumbathon planned for November 13 at Willowburn Sports and Leisure Centre.
Rachael said: “It has been a horrific and tragic time for us and Josh’s sudden death has completely changed our lives.
“His story has touched the hearts of so many people and this was shown by the generosity and kindness in the quality of the raffle and auction prizes that were donated from various companies and businesses, as well as our friends.
“We would like to thank all of our friends who travelled down from Alnwick to Bedfordshire who supported and shared the weekend with us. We were overwhelmed by the total of £5,065 which was raised on the night.”
Rachael added: “Joshua’s Forever Fund was first set up in April as an online tribute page which is personal to him, a permanent place to remember him and share with our family and friends as well as raising money in his name for Meningitis UK.
“The initial target was to raise £7,500 for the precious seven-and-a-half months that we shared with Joshua.
“With the help of so many generous people both in Bedfordshire and in Alnwick, to date £20,000 has been raised.
“We are hoping by the end of this year to have raised £25,000 in Joshua’s name for Meningitis UK.
“A big thank-you to the people and businesses who donated a prize towards the charity event – we couldn’t have done it without their support.”