Special trip to Isle of Wight

On Saturday 10th December trustees from The Ray Collins Charitable Trust travelled to Ryde on the Isle of Wight. A 168-mile round trip to make one of their proudest donations to date.

We visited the Caring Cancer Trust to deliver over £2,000 worth of musical instruments and art materials in memory of Wantage’s most inspirational teenager, Maisie Norton, who died of cancer in October 2015.

The trustees wanted to do something very special in Maisie’s memory and to be able to help and inspire other children fighting cancer the way Maisie did, and put smiles on faces as wide as Maisie’s beautiful smile.

Healing Holidays

The Caring Cancer Trust provide escorted Healing Holidays of Adventure for children recovering from cancer. They help the children regain their self-confidence and re-ignite their passion for life after the trauma and suffering caused by their illness.

As we all know, the Trust is happy to donate funds but we prefer to do something tangible with the funds we raise. So we contacted Ian MacWatt, Trustee and Hon. Secretary of the CCT to discuss our donation.

Ian mentioned their desire to do more art and music workshops and went on to explain the huge benefits to the children the workshops provided.

“I can’t tell you what this does for Caring Cancer Trust. Until now the art and music tutors have had to fill their cars to the brim with equipment before reaching us, which over the past two years has cost them a lot of money.

“Now we can equip our Healing Holiday workshops ourselves and indeed do other shorter local weekend workshops for children with cancer with tutors from the local schools, merely adding those art materials and numerous instruments which have been used and need replacing; paper, brushes, paint tubes, etc will make a massive difference to all involved.

“I know Maisie would be very proud.”

Smiles all round

It was both inspiring and informative to meet and learn more about CCT and how big a difference this donation will make to the children coming to the trust next year.

And it was priceless to see Ian MacWatt (Hon Secretary), Chris Ody (Chairman) and Amy MacWatt (Shop Manager) being left speechless with the amount of equipment we left them.

Chris insisted on treating us all to lunch, and a carvery at their local was very well received.

And it was great to catch up with Brian Baggott, a Wantage local living on the Isle of Wight these days and no mean fundraiser himself.

“It was also a real pleasure spending quality time with quality friends: Phil Tynan, Sarah Lewis Tynan, Tracy Wilson, Laura Beale and Kate McCormack were all amazing, great fun and even better company,” said Ray Collins.

What we donated

The Ray Collins Charitable Trust donated:

12 water Colour paint sets
12 acrylic paint sets
12 water colour paper pads
12 brush sets
12 drawing pencil packs
20 rubbers
10 easels
12 charcoal sets
12 sketch pads
3 acoustic guitars
1 bass guitar and amp
2 keyboards
1 five-piece starter drum kit plus covers & stool
3 ukuleles
1 electric guitar & amp
1 pink electric guitar & amp (will be decorated with butterfly stickers by the children who use it)

All of this will help the CCT with their new Create2Go Art and Music workshop programme, which provides a unique inspirational opportunity for children whose budding creative talents have been shackled by their cancer and trauma of surgery, lengthy and sometimes ongoing treatment.

The Caring Cancer Trust

They currently take children to Jersey and the idyllic old fishing port of Gorey, dominated by the imposing medieval Mont Orgueil Castle.

Under the inspirational guidance of Johnny Midnight and Tom, who put down his electric guitar and drumsticks to devote his life to research at the Viral Oncology Research Laboratories, Manchester University, they re-awaken children’s innate creative curiosity and help them to unleash their burgeoning artistic talent.

Two youngsters whom they have helped in recent years are now studying Art and Music at college and they hope that many more will discover a creative path to fulfilment and success.

When not painting and making music, they take time off to go sand-yachting, swim, explore the historic heritage of Jersey, and make a date with Durrell’s animals at the famed Durrell Wildlife Conservation Park.

In proud memory of Maisie Norton

“We are so proud to honour Maisie’s memory. It’s a blessing and a privilege to be able to help more children fighting cancer, to inspire them, to release hidden talents, nurture their creativity and to bring out confidence, joy, peace, tranquillity and harmony to their lives, at what must be a truly terrifying and uncertain time.

“Hopefully a special angel will be smiling down on all of us tomorrow. We all really hope Maisie would be very proud,” said Ray.

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