The Joely Bear Appeal has three main aims. The Appeal was originally set up to provide facilities to make stays in hospital more comfortable for young cancer patients and their families. The Appeal now also makes grants for research into the treatment and detection of cancer on children. It also promotes the importance of giving blood and of registering on the Bone Marrow panel.
Each of our aims are outlined below:
Any stay in hospital is distressing, even more so when it is a child, and particularly so for someone recently diagnosed with cancer or another life threatening illness. While the hospital staff will do everything possible, parents spend a great deal of time with their sick child, and the facilities available to them are often inadequate. The Joely Bear Appeal can provide anything from a sofa-bed to a games console, kitchen facilities to educational resources. Our aim is to make a child's stay in hospital as comfortable as we can.
The second aim of the Appeal is to fund specialist research into life-threatening illnesses which affect children particularly cancer and liver related disease. We do this by contributing to the purchase of equipment dedicated to this work, and by funding research projects which relate to our particular area of concern and which would not otherwise be possible.
The need for regular blood donors cannot be stressed to highly. Everyone expects blood to be available whenever it's required, whether for surgery or for treating patients with other illnesses especially cancer. Unfortunately only one in twenty of the population who are able to be donors actually give blood regularly and the appeal is active in promoting the importance of doing so. By running three blood donor sessions each year and creating a supportive, family atmosphere at our sessions we encourage all those who are able to contribute.
In 2014, Leigh Renak spoke to Nick Coffer on BBC Three Counties Radio about the history of the Appeal: