Added on: 9th January, 2018 by Natalie_26298
A charity set up following the death of a 10-year-old boy has won £1,000 funding from Persimmon Homes to help fund a performing arts festival.
Little Joss Parkes from Witney died in January 2011 after developing an aggressive form of cancer.
His parents, Dianne and Nigel, set up Joss Searchlight to raise awareness and to help other parents by providing co-ordinated emotional and practical support for families of children with cancer, offering advice, counselling, specialist equipment, respite care and those special treats to help make memories.
Joss Searchlight together with The Parish of Witney are set to put on a performing arts festival which they anticipate will draw in an audience of over 5,000 people.
To aid with the funding Persimmon Homes Wessex has donated £1,000 as part of the developer’s Community Champions. The initiative is a national programme where clubs, groups and good causes can apply for funding up to the value of £1,000 to match money they have already raised themselves. Nationwide the company has donated more than 1.5 million.
Dianne Parkes, founder of the charity and mother to Joss, said: “In 2011 my beautiful ten-year-old son Joss was taken away by the cruellest of childhood cancers, DIPG, the most incurable of brain tumours. He passed away at the John Radcliffe Children’s Hospital, Oxford. Since the day he died our family has strived to make the lives of families of children with cancer a little bit better.
“This event is all about raising awareness, and getting the community together.
“We’ve engaged with 54 professional artists to stage demonstrations and workshops to ensure a diverse and fully inclusive event. It is set to bring people together from different background, encouraging over 300 children and people with limited opportunities to get involved.
“Persimmon’s generous donation will help to fund the stage, sound engineers and artists. The event will take place on 16th June 2018 and will be free of charge.”
Pauline Fletcher, sales and marketing director at Persimmon Homes Wessex, said: “When we heard about the event and Joss’s Searchlight we wanted to do what we could to help the cause.
“We are committed to supporting the communities in which we are building, and the Community Champions scheme is just one way we do that. The event is sure to be a hit with the local community, including residents of our Witney development, Persimmon @ Windrush Place.”
For those who wish to know more about Community Champions and how they can enter, they can visit www.persimmonhomes.com/charity