The new Lady Captain of High Gosforth Park Golf Club (formerly Parklands) has announced children’s charity The Bubble Foundation as her new charity of the year.
The ladies’ section at the club will fundraise for the charity over the next year, after incoming Lady Captain Lynn Taylor made the announcement at the recent Annual General Meeting.
Gill Wheeldon, Fundraising Manager at The Bubble Foundation, attended the event on behalf of the charity and spoke about its work supporting seriously ill children with severe immune conditions.
The Bubble Foundation raises funds to help the families of babies and children treated on the Children’s Bone Marrow Transplant Unit at the Great North Children’s Hospital in Newcastle. Known as the ‘Bubble’ unit, the children stay in a sterile ‘bubble’ of clean air while undergoing treatment, to protect them from the risk of infection.
As well as financing toys and providing support to families, donations to The Bubble Foundation go toward pioneering research led by the world-renowned team at the unit – one of only two specialist centres in the UK.
Lynn chose the charity after meeting Gill through the monthly ‘Cluny Sunday’ fundraising events, which are held on the first Sunday of every month at the popular Ouseburn venue. She plans to hold a range of fundraising activities at the club throughout 2022, including raffles and events.
Lynn said: “When I heard some of the stories of the babies and children born without an immune system and the incredible work The Bubble Foundation does, I knew we had to make it our charity of the year.
“I worked in the NHS for 33 years and it was important to me to support a charity which is local to our region, but makes a difference to the lives of children from across the country. It’s amazing to think that the research The Bubble Foundation has helped to fund, is recognised around the world. We’ve got such talent here in the North East and it makes me very proud. We can’t wait to give something back for the children.”
Macsen Oatway, now eight, is one of the children supported by the charity. He underwent a bone marrow transplant at the Great North Children’s Hospital, six years ago when he was aged two, to treat a rare immune disorder, LAD1, which means his body couldn’t fight infections as it should.
Along with his parents, Zoe and Richard Oatway, Macsen spent Christmas and New Year 2015 away from their home in Neath, South Wales. He was on Ward 3 at the hospital and protected in the sterile ‘bubble’, while The Bubble Foundation supported them during their stay in Newcastle, including donating toys to Macsen on the ward.
They have continued to support The Bubble Foundation through fundraising activities and Macsen’s mum Zoe, said: “Now more than ever this amazing charity needs help. Without The Bubble Foundation, we couldn’t have done it. We are the lucky ones. The pandemic has hit everyone hard and the parents on the ward need support during the most difficult time in their lives.
“We are so grateful to all the nurses, doctors and staff at the Great North Children’s Hospital, who do an amazing job. Thanks to them, Macsen is a healthy, happy eight year old, who is loving life. His treatment was successful, which was the best Christmas present ever. Six years on, we continue to raise funds for The Bubble Foundation, so future families can get the help they need, which made such a difference to us.”
Speaking about the Lady Captain’s decision to take on The Bubble Foundation as charity of the year, Fundraising Manager Gill Wheeldon, said: “It’s fantastic to have the support of the ladies’ section at High Gosforth Park Golf Club. The funds they raise will help future families like the Oatway’s and go towards life-changing research which will further improve treatment for children diagnosed with primary immune deficiencies.
“Through the pandemic, the remarkable team on Ward 3 have been working tirelessly with extra precautions to keep patients safe. The Bubble Foundation aims to make the experiences of the families that little bit easier, while they are going through an incredibly difficult time.”
Since it was founded in 1992, the charity has raised millions of pounds for research and support for families, and survival rates for children with severe immune deficiencies have gone from six in 10 dying when it first started, to nine in 10 surviving today.
To make a donation to The Bubble Foundation, visit https://www.justgiving.com/bubblefoundation/