Local businesswoman organises free charity fun day

Published: 04/10/2011

East Yorkshire businesswoman Katie Taylor has organised a free charity fun day for children, teenagers and young adults suffering from Lymphoedema, a condition that causes severe swelling in various parts of the body.

Katie, who is the proprietor of Drewton's Farm Shop near South Cave in East Yorkshire, has organised the event on behalf of The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. It will be attended by up to 100 youngsters from across Yorkshire and beyond, all of whom receive treatment from the Leeds Lymphoedema Service. The fun day will take place at Xscape near Castleford on Saturday 8 October and is an opportunity for young people with Lymphoedema to come together and enjoy themselves, as well as chatting to one another about their experiences of living with the condition. The theme for the event is 'All the fun of the fair' and the children will be able to enjoy a wide variety of activities, including ten pin bowling, balloon sculpting and stilt-walking. There will also be a coconut shy, face-painting, a Punch and Judy show, a hook-a-duck stand, a clown, a magic show, music, games and lots more. This will be followed by a party tea at the end of the afternoon.

Ever since Katie's son, George Cole, was diagnosed with Lymphoedema at the age of four, she has worked hard to raise awareness of the condition, as well as raising more than £35,000 by staging events, such as a Masked Ball, and writing a cook book.

Much of this money was used to produce an award-winning children's book called 'The Big Book of Lymphoedema', which aims to help children understand the condition by presenting useful information in a colourful, eye-catching and child-friendly format. The book was written by Jacquelyne Todd, a physiotherapist consultant at The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. The artwork was produced by a Leeds-based design agency, and the project was managed by Katie's cousin Duncan Cleave. The book won an award from the British Medical Association and has now been translated into several different languages.

Katie also used some of the money that she'd raised to stage the first ever fun day for children with Lymphoedema last autumn. This year's event promises to be even bigger and better.

She explained: "The Leeds Lymphoedema Service cares for children and young people from all over Yorkshire and parts of Lancashire. The idea of bringing them all together at the fun day is to help them learn from one another and make sure that they have someone to talk to who knows what they're going through, as well as giving them a really great day out.

"I know from my own son, George, who is now eleven years old, how important this is for children and young people living with Lymphoedema, which can be a difficult and isolating condition."

Any local businesses or organisations that would like to provide sponsorship towards the cost of staging the free fun day, or organising future events for children and young people with Lymphoedema, are welcome to contact Katie on 01430 425079 or via email.

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