Making magical memories

Gail Neville (right) and Elaine Pilcher.
Gail Neville (right) and Elaine Pilcher.
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These two women are on a mission to help families create special memories to be treasured forever.

Friends Elaine Pilcher and Gail Neville have set up a fundraising organisation and their mission is to see it become a registered charity – meaning they have to raise more than £5,000.

The pair came up the idea for Making Memories, after Elaine, of Cleveleys, was sadly diagnosed with terminal lung cancer in March.

They found while there were already charities to help poorly children make the most of their time with their families, there wasn’t anything for terminally ill parents to create magical memories with their youngsters for them to treasure once they have gone.

They have already created a Making Memories calendar, wristbands and hoodies to sell to raise funds.

Gail, who works at Lancaster University, has got students and colleagues involved and various fundraising events have already been held.

The pair hope Making Memories will help make the wishes of terminally ill parents come true – such as a family holiday, or once-in-a-lifetime activity.

Elaine, 48, has been making her own memories with eight-year-son Harry – including flying a plane – and her precious 14-week-old grandson Bobby.

Gail said: “It started after trying to organise a holiday for Elaine and her family, something special they could enjoy.

“There was nothing for children with terminally ill parents. So we decided to set up our own charity.

“We have created a calendar, full of photos of family and friends and we have created hoodies and wristbands.

“We have also launched a project called One in a Hundred. If we could just get 100 people to raise £70 each, we could hit our target.

“Elaine is such a wonderful person, we want to make this a success for her and help other families in the future.”

Elaine, who was given the devastating news after seeing her doctor with a tickling feeling in her throat which wouldn’t go away, said: “It was obviously a massive shock to be diagnosed. But I am the kind of person who is a ‘helper’.

“I wanted to set up something to help families create memories together they could treasure, but also to raise awareness and urge families to make the most of the time they spend with each other.

“We never thought this would happen to us. But I wanted to do something positive.

“I’m sure Harry will be proud of the charity and hopefully he will get involved when he is older. We are taking lots of photos to make our own memories and there’s going to be a book with details of how the charity started and about my life.

“Gail has been fantastic, along with her colleagues. Everybody has been wonderful. My two big wishes now are to sell all the calendars and to make Making Memories a registered charity.”

For more details and to support the charity click www.makingmemories.netne.net