Website a lasting legacy of Hartlepool’s ‘little princess’ Becky Bell

Becky Bell with her brother Mark. Picture by FRANK REID
Becky Bell with her brother Mark. Picture by FRANK REID
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A WEBSITE has been set up as a lasting legacy for Hartlepool’s “little princess” Becky Bell – and could raise thousands of pounds to help families of childen fighting cancer.

Becky’s story touched the hearts of the people of Hartlepool when we reported on her brave fight after she was diagnosed with cancer in July 2011.

Becky Bell in her princess Dress. Picture By FRANK REID

Becky Bell in her princess Dress. Picture By FRANK REID

Thousands of pounds were raised from all walks of life across the town, helping to send her and her family on a dream trip to DisneyLand Paris.

Hundreds attended the seven-year-old’s funeral when she died in January 2012, and her family have kept her memory alive with a series of fundraisers for various cancer charities since her death.

That fundraising will now continue through a new website, keepsmilingforbecky.com, with all monies raised going to help families going through the same ordeal as Becky’s did.

And the long-term aim of the family is to eventually set up a registered charity in Becky’s name.

Julie Bell

Julie Bell

Mum Julie said: “When Becky was poorly, all of the money raised through fundraisers went to her.

“When we lost her, we wanted to keep it going to raise money for families who were going through what we did.

“Since then, we’ve made about £30,000 for various cancer charities.

“Money can be used to help make dreams, like our trip to Disney, but it is also used in a variety of other ways because it is such a financial strain on families.

“You have to consider the cost of getting back and forwards from hospital, or the cost of living in a hospital for parents who have had to take time off work or quit their jobs.

“We have been working closely with Clic Sergeant, the cancer charity, and they get in touch with us to tell us about families that need the money and we help out where we can.”

The website was poignantly launched on August 18, which would have been Becky’s 10th birthday.

Julie added: “People can go on there and read Becky’s story.

“We hope it will help families going through what we did, and maybe they will be helped by the fact we can relate to it.

“There are options on the website for them to get in touch with us, people don’t have to be alone.

“People can also donate on there, and the response over the last couple of weeks has been brilliant.

“Our long-term aim is to set up a registered charity in Becky’s name, hopefully this will be the start of some lasting legacy for her.”

Julie has been backed by local businesswoman Andrea McKenzie, who runs the Mrs Mops domestic cleaning firm, and would love to get other local firms on board to help with sponsorship.

She can be contacted on 07927225542.

• A fundraising event will take place at Rift House Primary School, in Masefield Road, later this month.

The Keep Smiling For Becky event takes place on Saturday, September 13, and includes fairground rides, a bouncy castle, facepainting and games as well as displays by the Hartlepool Hawks cheerleaders.

The fair runs from 12pm-4pm, and admission is free.