Kay’s £175,000 fund legacy

Kay Smith
Kay Smith

AN incredible charity effort set up by a brave cancer victim while she was battling the disease is set to reach a staggering milestone.

In just seven years since Kay Smith sadly passed away, her dedicated family and friends have done exactly what she wished – supported people in the situation she was in and they are set to have raised £175,000 by the end of this year.

In that short space of time, the charity has donated more than £100,000 to Hartlepool and District Hospice and funded the recruitment of a child bereavement councillor.

The councillor service has had a huge impact and last year helped more than 100 children who have had to deal with the devastation of losing loved ones.

It has also raised thousands of pounds to support a research team at the University Hospital of North Tees looking at the early detection of breast cancer.

Brave Kay died in January 2006 after a year-long battle against breast cancer, despite having a lump removed from her breast the cancer spread through her body.

But instead of feeling sympathy for her own situation, inspirational Kay set about supporting others who would go through the ordeal she was facing after she passed away.

Before her death, Kay, who lived in the Dyke House area of Hartlepool and worked as an administrator for Travis Perkins builders’ merchant, set up the Kay Smith Fund and made it her dying wish for her family and friends to raise as much money as possible in her memory.

Hospice staff told how the effort of the Kay Smith Fund has provided such “vital” support to the Wells Avenue-based facility.

As well as donating thousands of pounds, which has all helped to maintain the specialist palliative services at the hospice, the fund also committed to handing over £15,000 every year for five years which allowed the facility to recruit bereavement counsellor, Angela Connor.

Hospice staff revealed that in the last year alone, Angela assessed and supported 124 children who had lost loved ones.

Rebecca Jobson, trust fundraiser at the hospice, said: “That figure just shows how vital the Kay Smith Fund is to the hospice.

“The impact the fund has had on our service is huge and for them to pledge a donation for five years gave us real sustainability.

“And it’s just so nice to work with them, we have developed a fantastic partnership and everyone at the hospice can’t thank them enough for what they done for us.”

But for the dedicated volunteers who give up their time raising cash for the charity, there’s a lot more to come.

Trustee Mick Sumpter said: “For us it’s still very much full steam ahead.

“The support we have had has been amazing, we have people coming out of the woodwork to help us raise money and it’s tremendous.

“By the end of the year we will have raised £175,000.

“We very much appreciate all of the support we receive and we will continue to raise as much money as we can.”