In a world of ‘stuff’ bursting out of every cupboard and drawer, what can we give this Christmas? You’ll know from our last blog that we are endeavouring to have a more sustainable Christmas and we certainly didn’t want to be the bearers of more plastic, more gifts to squirrel away in the back of the wardrobe, more indulgence and just more ‘stuff’. However, in the spirit of Christmas we do want to make a point to thank our incredibly loyal customers both new and old and celebrate, what we hope through our machines, advice, help and support, has been a great year for you. We have decided to do something a little different in the area of gifting this year. We are donating £1500 to The Thomas Ball Children’s Cancer Charity on behalf of all of our brilliant customers. So instead of popping open yet another bottle of fizz and indulging in ‘just one more’ quality street/celebration/roses (whichever is the favourite), we hope you will agree that knowing you’ve helped to bring back a smile to a child and family who are going through a tough time is far more rewarding.
Christmas Is About Children
As a family company, CES have long been about supporting other small, local, family businesses, hence our reason for championing a local charity set up by the family of an incredible and very brave young boy. We also felt that Christmas is all about children and bringing a little Christmas magic to them and this charity does exactly that. The Thomas Ball Children’s Cancer Charity is all about supporting children with cancer to alleviate pain and suffering and give them just a moment to forget their illness and enjoy life whether this be through special gifts, trips or holidays or funding medical equipment and research. In fact, only a week ago the charity really bought the magic of Christmas to some much-deserving children suffering with cancer, when they took a group to the ultimate childhood dream, Disneyland Paris!
The Thomas Ball Charity
The Thomas Ball Charity was set up by Thomas Ball himself who was diagnosed with cancer (neuroblastoma stage 4) at the age of 8. Thomas was a remarkable young boy who organised sponsored bike rides, swimming events, discos, garden fetes and even helped select a holiday chalet in Hampshire that would become a free holiday home to help children and families forget their difficulties and enjoy time together. Sadly, this holiday chalet was demolished to make way for a new development and subsequently the charity is urgently fundraising for new holiday homes to support sick children. It has been quite overwhelming reading about Thomas, who by all accounts, was a lively and mischievous little boy who got up to all the usual toddler tricks and antics like posting sausages through the letterbox, digging up the plants in the garden and not forgetting smearing the odd tube of hand cream on the walls. At such a young age Thomas endured two years of painful treatment but never complained. The family were delighted when he went in to remission and subsequently thrived, enjoying all the typical activities of a young boy, swimming, computers and supporting Chelsea. He was closely observed by the hospital and due to his damaged bone marrow from chemotherapy the family knew there was a high chance of relapse. At the age of 13 Thomas relapsed. He remained strong and determined as he underwent further chemotherapy and radioactive treatment; always thinking of others even when wheelchair bound and unable to attend school. In June 2003 at the age of 14, Thomas lost his battle with cancer.
Leaving A Legacy
Thomas’s legacy lives on in this remarkable charity that strives to help other children suffering with cancer and their families. We were certainly struck by the charity and all the wonderful work they do, touching the lives of children and families who so desperately need it. We know the charity will hugely appreciate this donation on behalf of all our customers and we hope you’ll agree that the gift of charitable giving is an incredibly worthwhile gift this Christmas. Thank you to all our customers for making this possible.