Jack Johnstone was a ‘caring little boy’ and the ‘life and soul’ in his short life. The 10-year-old died in December 2016 after a battle with cystic fibrosis but his mum, Tina, was determined to ensure his memory lived on and set up The Jack K Johnstone Foundation a few months later.
The foundation provides short break holidays and days out to children who have a chronic illness, disability or who may have been affected by sibling bereavement.
Tina, of Longton, says: “Jack was the life and soul and was a joker. He would walk into a room and you could feel his presence.
“He was very caring and had a strong relationship with the children at his school.
“He wanted to be as normal as possible. When we had free time to go on family day trips and holidays, he got so excited. After he passed away it was clear what we wanted to do.
“As a bereaved parent, I wanted to set up a fund in Jack’s memory to give other children the feeling of normality. That was a big thing for him.
As a bereaved parent, I wanted to set up a fund in Jack’s memory to give other children the feeling of normality. That was a big thing for him.Tina Johnstone
“He would have loved this foundation.
“I hope it will give other families a sense of being able to provide normality. We consider everybody and arrange trips and holidays all over the country for accessibility for everyone.
“I look after the applications myself and discuss with my trustee what we can do. We offer families a choice of what they want.”
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The foundation has one trustee and seven fund-raisers, as well as a patron, who is former Emmerdale actress Kay Purcell, of Leyland, who runs Purcell Drama Academy.
Kay says: “I friend had got in touch with me before Jack dies as he was doing a fund-raising talent show for Jack and so I attended and kept in contact with the family.
“When the family approached me about becoming a patron I already knew about Jack’s journey and was more than happy to be involved.
“As a local person and a mum, it really does touch your heart.
“What the foundation does in Jack’s memory is amazing, as they are helping other families. It is such a good thing to be involved in.
“In my role as patron I attend all the amazing events the foundation and support what it does. We are now trying to organise another talent show next year and hope to get a big name to judge to raise its profile.”
To help raise funds the foundation has organised several events.
The first is a trip to Chester Christmas markets and Cheshire Oaks on Saturday, November 17.
There are still a few seats left. Tickets are £20.
A Christmas Soiree will be held at Shaw Hill Golf club on Sunday, November 25, from 4pm.
The event includes drinks and canapes on arrival, plus entertainment from Matt Philips. There will also be stalls and a fashion show. Tickets are £10 per person.
The Jingle, Mingle and Shopping event will take place at Ribby Hall Village on Monday, December 3, from 7pm.
Tickets are £5 (or buy five tickets for price of four) and includes a glass of fizz on arrival, plus two rooms full of stalls with Christmas Gift ideas and a fashion show.
Children are invited to a Christmas party at Hallmark Hotel, in Leyland, on Saturday December 8, 1pm until 4pm.
Tickets are £15 per child which includes a disco, games, children’s entertainer, balloon modelling, food and a visit from Santa. One adult must stay with the children per party booking.
Families can also attend the Santa Cruise at Riley Green Marina on Saturday December 15. Tickets are £15 for adults and £16 for children and includes a one-hour cruise with tea, coffee, mulled wine, mince pies, children’s sweets, soft drinks, present from Santa and festive biscuits.
To book visit The Jack K Johnstone Foundation on Facebook or call Karen on 07786152717.
For more information visit www.jackkjohnstonefoundation.co.uk/