Custom Heat, a plumbing and heating specialist that provides services across the Midlands, is partnering with the Grace Kelly Childhood Cancer Trust, making the non-profit its charity of the year. To make a real difference to families who are living with the daily challenges of a child with cancer, Custom Heat has pledged to undertake free boiler services and repairs over the next 12-months for any Trust supported family living in its operational area.
In addition to the labour being provided at no cost when a family’s boiler unexpectedly breaks down or requires an annual service, Custom Heat is making an initial £1,000 pot of funding available to cover any parts that may be required as well as donating £2,500.
The Trust offers financial support directly to families who are referred directly from the teams at hospitals and Young Lives vs Cancer, so the £2,500 will fund 10 support grants for families at the new diagnosis stage, relapse stage or sadly also when bereavement occurs. Custom Heat’s 100-strong team will also be raising funds in a variety of ways, from facilitating collections and games at local fairs and business events to sponsored activities and office bake sales.
The Grace Kelly Childhood Cancer Trust is a small but growing not-for-profit that became a registered charity in 2016. It was founded in memory of Grace, who passed away at the age of four from a rare form of childhood cancer – and it was Grace who left behind a wish to help other children. Through her inspirational legacy, the team at the Trust work to support many families, locally across Worcestershire and across the UK. The Trust receives no statutory funding and relies almost wholly on public support.
When a child is diagnosed with cancer, it often significantly affects a family’s finances, as one or both parents can no longer work. Lincoln Smith, Managing Director of Custom Heat knew that he and his team could make a direct impact to families who are fighting childhood cancer, the biggest medical cause of death of children in the UK. He explained: “I knew that by partnering with the Grace Kelly Childhood Cancer Trust, Custom Heat could immediately help to take away some of the financial worries that families might be facing when they are prioritising looking after a sick child. If a boiler crisis happens, we can be there the same or next day to get it running again and the cost of parts will come out of the fund we have created. By offering annual services, we will also prevent a proportion of future break downs and ensure these families going through very emotional times have one less thing to worry about.
“Our support doesn’t end there though; the Trust is Custom Heat’s charity of the year and the whole team will be fundraising in as many ways as we can think of over the next 12-months. Furthermore, we are funding 10 grants for families in need of direct financial support and we hope to motivate our customers to add to the £2,500 via our dedicated donation page, enabling the charity to undertake even more of its vital work.”
Childhood cancer is not as rare as many may think. It affects 1 in every 450 children before the age of 15. This is why the Grace Kelly Trust is fighting so hard for these children; funding research into rare childhood cancers, teaching the signs and symptoms of childhood cancer to assist earlier diagnosis and supporting families through the journey of diagnosis, living with the disease and sometimes, sadly, grief.
Emma Williams, Charity Operations and Fundraising Manager at the Grace Kelly Childhood Cancer Trust, commented: “We are truly honoured to have been selected to receive support from the team at Custom Heat. As a small charity based in Worcestershire we have a team that are dedicated to the values and objectives of the Trust working hard to support families facing childhood cancer. Our family support covers emotional, sibling, financial and bereavement support ensuring we are there for families when they need us at such a hard time.
“This partnership offers the Trust an incredible opportunity to work with a well-recognised and successful family run heating and plumbing business. We are looking forward to raising the much-needed funds and profile of the Trust and to building a partnership to benefit the vital work that we do. We also want to work alongside the aims of Custom Heat to ensure that all involved have a positive and enjoyable experience of supporting a local charity.”