THE FAMILY of a young Thurston boy who died in May have dedicated 12 months to fund-raising for new play equipment for the children’s hospice where he spent his last days.
Louis Butcher was born with a rare condition and was just six years old when he died in the care of East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (Each), in Milton, three months ago.
Now his family, led by his step-sister, Lauren Godfrey, are putting their efforts into organising a fun day for children in Thurston, where they live.
Lauren, 21, said: “It’s been keeping me busy.
“We’re all up and down. Everyone’s being strong for each other, we’re all helping each other through it.”
The Wishes for Louis Kids’ Party and fun day will take place in Thurston’s New Centre, from 1-6pm on Thursday, with party food from 4.30pm.
Among the activities on offer will be face and nail painting, bouncy castles, mini golf, stocks, hair braiding and colouring competitions.
Lauren said: “It was the sort of thing that Louis liked. He was very playful and cheeky, and very special.”
There will also be a candy floss machine, a raffle, a tombola, a cake sale and a police car for youngsters to explore.
Entry will cost £1 per child (under 16), including party food, and there will be prizes for the best fancy dress.
The aim of the day is to raise as much money as possible for additional playground equipment at the Milton hospice, in Cambridgeshire.
A recent ‘playground appeal’ reached its target but there is a need for some additional items elsewhere in the gardens.
Lauren said: “Each have been so supportive and they looked after us when we were there, which were the toughest two days that we ever had to face.
“We just wanted to give something back and do something for Louis.”
Nikki Brown, Suffolk fund-raiser for Each, said: “What a wonderful way to remember Louis and raise money for Each. It’s a great day to entertain the children while they are on their summer holidays.
“Lauren and her family and friends are putting in so much effort to make this day special and a success.”
In September, the family’s fund-raising efforts will get an extra boost with a music event at the Fox and Hound, a pub in Thurston where Lauren works as assistant supervisor
It will feature bands on a large outdoor stage, as well as a disco, an auction, a raffle and a barbecue.
It will take place from 6m to midnight on September 15.
Tickets, priced at £5 each, will be available from the pub in Barton Road from today.
For more details on the event, call the pub on 01359 232228.