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Bands raise hospice funds

Six year-old Katie Stewart, of Bristol Avenue in Bispham, has been busy making hundreds of lume bands to sell at St Bernadette's School fair to raise funds for Brian House, where her two year-old brother Alfie attends.
Pictured are Katie (blue shirt), her best friend Taylor Dodd, dad John and Alfie.  PIC BY ROB LOCK
10-7-2014

Six year-old Katie Stewart, of Bristol Avenue in Bispham, has been busy making hundreds of lume bands to sell at St Bernadette's School fair to raise funds for Brian House, where her two year-old brother Alfie attends. Pictured are Katie (blue shirt), her best friend Taylor Dodd, dad John and Alfie. PIC BY ROB LOCK 10-7-2014

Katie Stewart’s parents say there are no words to explain how proud they are after the six-year-old raised nearly £140 for Brian House children’s hospice.

Her idea of making and selling hundreds of loom bands – colourful bracelets made from rubber bands – to raise money for the hospice, which helps look after her younger brother Alfie, came out of the blue to parents John and Kimberley.

But they helped her make the bands, which she sold for a minimum of 50p at her school.

Kimberly, 27, said: “There are no words for how proud we are.

“Katie understands how important Brian House is for us and Alfie, and she just wanted to help.”

Alfie, two, has oesophageal atresia, which means he cannot swallow and sleeps with a feeding tube every night.

He also has dumping syndrome, which causes stomach cramps and his sugar levels to drop and congenital hyperinsulinism, which is the opposite to diabetes and requires constant monitoring.

Kimberly, of Bristol Avenue, Bispham, said: “It’s been hard work, but Brian House has been life changing for us – it means we are able to spend time with Katie and it gives us chance to sleep.

“It’s great for Katie, and she’s the main reason we use Brian House as she needs that time with us.

“Alfie’s come a long way. He attends Brian House every week and sleeps over twice a month. Katie’s even helped teach him how to eat and she really looks after him.”

Knowing how much her parents rely on the children’s hospice, on Low Moor Road, Bispham, young carer Katie set about raising money to help them look after her brother.

She sold around 250 bands at St Bernadette’s Catholic Primary School gala, for which she received the headteacher’s award.

Sian Ellis, fund-raising assistant for Brian House and Trinity Hospice, said: “We’re all really impressed with Katie’s creativity, seeing how a craze like loom bands can be used to raise such a fabulous amount for Brian House.

“Where most six-year-olds see a toy, Katie has seen a way to help other local children and we are so grateful to her and to everyone who has bought one to support us.

“Katie has shown us that big ideas really do come from some of our smallest supporters.”

 

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