Exciting plans to open a holiday home for sick and terminally ill children, in memory of an inspirational Padiham teenager who lost her own fight against leukaemia, have been announced by her family.
The home would be a lasting legacy in brave Hayley Barker’s name who died in 2013 aged just 17. A shop in her name, Hayley’s Hugs, was opened in February by family and friends and it has been a great success, raising money for children with life threatening illnesses and also their families.
Hayley’s aunt, Kerry Yates, said: “Our aim is to open a holiday home, this has been something we have talked about for some time and it would be an amazing legacy in Hayley’s name.’’
The home would be similar to Donna’s Dream House in Blackpool set up in memory of Donna Curtis who was 20 when she died of cancer in 1996.
Courageous Hayley, a former pupil of St John’s RC Primary School in Padiham, had battled leukaemia since she was eight. After waiting several years for a life saving double lung transplant she finally had the operation but died after complications set in.
Her positive, fighting spirit and caring attitude towards others when she herself was so desperately ill herself touched everyone who met her.
We are really keeping the memory of Hayley alive and in such a postive way and the positive response we have received to the shop and the charity has been overwhelmingHayley’s aunt, Kerry Yates
Well wishers had been raising money to help Hayley and after her death the family wanted to continue in a bid to help other families. To date around £5,000 has been raised and the shop in Burnley Road which is part of Krafter’s Korner, is doing a roaring trade in high quality charity goods and home-made crafts.
Kerry added: “We never expected the shop to do so well but news of it has spread far and wide and families with poorly children who knew Hayley while she was being treated in Wythenshawe Hospital in Manchester have been coming over to see us.’’
Manned entirely by volunteers, including Hayley’s mum Lisa and sister Leah, Kerry said running the shop had helped the family to cope with their devastating loss.
She said: “We are really keeping the memory of Hayley alive and in such a postive way and the positive response we have received to the shop and the charity has been overwhelming.
“There are five of us on a board of trustees and we are waiting to receive our charity number so that Hayley’s Hugs can become an official registered charity.’’
Money raised through Hayley’s Hugs has been used to buy Christmas presents for children in hospital and also towards the “small wishes’’ fund.
Kerry said: “We are helping to arrange treats and outings for poorly children and their families including their brothers and sisters who can often be overlooked.’’
Anyone who like more information about the charity can log onto www.hayleyshugs.co.uk or Hayley’s Hugs on facebook.