Incredible Drive Continues To Help Others

Incredible Drive Continues To Help Others

Published - 27th Jul


Terminally ill 15yr old, Alice Pyne continues her incredible drive to help others despite suffering the horrendous effects of Hodgkins Lymphoma.

Terminally-ill Alice became an unlikely celebrity when her bucket list went global. The 15 year-old from Ulverston in Cumbria started an online blog simply to keep a few close friends up to date and no one was more shocked than her at the speed it became viral. But Alice's list was never all about herself - top of her list was to encourage everyone eligible to register to become a potential bone marrow donor. This was followed by a list of mostly achievable things; to meet Take That, to swim with sharks and to enter her dog Mabel in a show.

A long time fan of Bridgewater pottery, it was no surprise to see 'design an Emma Bridgewater Mug' featuring on her list. But it was that Alice gave even her list thought, by adding the words 'for charity', that really made people think. Husband and wife team, Matthew Rice and Emma Bridgewater, responded immediately and expressed their delight at been able to help Alice make her wish a reality. Alice has described her designing day at the Stoke factory studio as very relaxing and one of the most enjoyable to date.

Her chosen charity Torbay Holiday Helpers Network (THHN) give free action packed holidays to families who have seriously ill children and families who are bereaved from across the country. The charity has only been running for two years and is run single handedly by founder and tireless fundraiser -Torquay hotelier Luke Tillen, co- owner of the Hotel De La Mer in Babbacombe, who has already helped over 140 families from across the country gain free holidays.

Luke set up the charity after a chance viewing of Channel 4’s “Secret Millionaire” that inspired him so much he decided to take action and set up the charity to help families in much need of a break away.

Alice has been on several THHN Holidays during her battle with her illness and they have proved to be a very much welcomed distraction for herself and her family. Luke said “ Our holidays give families who are going through living nightmares something positive to focus on and give them quality time together away from the harsh reality they call life. We are giving families memories they will treasure forever as sadly for many it will be the last holiday they take as a complete family”.

The idea for the design on Alice's mug came from the THHN's very own beach hut, that was provided by a local bereaved couple Caroline and Paul Hooper who lost their 3 year-old daughter ‘Faith’ to a very rare genetic condition. Caroline said of the beach hut being featured on the mug “The news that Alice was featuring ‘Faithy’s beach hut’ really overwhelmed us with joy. We were so happy that Alice was able to enjoy a THHN holiday and that ‘Faithy’s hut’ enhanced her time away was lovely for us to know. We are simply proud to have the hut feature on the mug and wish for as many as possible to be sold”.

Alice has very positive associations with the THHN beach hut and the area in general - she strongly feels that some of the smaller charities are the ones who have given her the most on a personal level, hence it was a very easy choice for her to choose THHN to benefit from the sales of the mug. The mug also features Alice's beloved Labradors, Mabel and Bess, along with a symbolic red bucket.

Luke added ”Alice is a phenomenal young lady and what she has achieved in a short space of time is outstanding, the money the mugs raise will have a huge impact on a small charity like the THHN”.

Over 650 mugs have already been sold from the Emma Bridgewater website and are now going on sale in store at Liberty – London. One hundred percent of the profits - £10.00 per mug will be donated to the THHN making it the first non profit item to go on sale at Liberty.

Alice, who lives with her younger sister Milly and parents Vicky and Simon, has also recently met with Prime Minister David Cameron at Downing Street. On the day ministers announced that £4m would be provided to enable stem cell donors and potential recipients to be matched more quickly, Alice discussed how they could help encourage more people to join the bone marrow donor register. With her usual selflessness, Alice said of her visit, “Whatever we achieve will be too late for me, but it would make me so happy if we can change things for all the Alice Pynes that will come after that”. £4m would be provided to enable stem cell donors and potential recipients to be matched more quickly.

Mr. Cameron said “We do want to get as many people as possible on to the bone marrow register and I'm sure the Leader of the Opposition and I can discuss this.”

Waves Leisure Pool is a proud supporter of THHN for more information on the help that THHN provides please visit their website.

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