Owen Sharples is determined to make a difference after his dad Matthew died of cancer.
Whittlefield Primary School pupil Owen (11) is passionate about raising money for the state-of-the-art Rosemere Burnley Chemotherapy Unit Appeal as he wants people to be able to sit in more comfortable surroundings with their families when they are having treatment – something Owen felt he wasn’t able to do.
Rosemere have so far raised £90,000 of the £100,000 for their new unit at Burnley General Hospital, which will be matched by East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust - and Owen wants to do his bit to raise the last £10,000.
Only child Owen, whose mum is Nicola, said: “My mum and I found it hard as dad’s chemotherapy could last six or seven hours and we couldn’t all sit in with him when he was having treatment so I want to make a difference.
“I want it so all families can be there. We couldn’t but I want to help so other families can.
“My dad was funny and tall. I miss him but I want to make a difference and help others. I hope I can raise a lot of money.”
My mum and I found it hard as dad’s chemotherapy could last six or seven hours and we couldn’t all sit in with him when he was having treatment so I want to make a differenceOwen
Matthew, who worked at Bemis in Burnley, died in March 2015 and Owen has been praised for his bravery following his dad’s death, recently being awarded a Rock FM ‘Child of Courage’ award at their Time to Shine awards.
He has spoken in assemblies about his fundraising for the Rosemere Cancer Foundation and he and his fellow pupils are going to carry out a sponsored walk on June 14th to Shuttleworth College, where he will go in September this year, and back - around a three mile walk.
There will also be a charity walk around Whittlefield for their Early Years and Key Stage 1 children.
Whittlefield School Council will also make cakes at Shuttleworth and they will be sold at a coffee morning at the primary school on June 16th.
Owen’s Head Teacher Helen Kershaw said: “We are so proud of Owen. He is on our school council and he wanted to do something for Rosemere.
“He has been preparing for his SATS but he has coped really well and he is an inspiration to us all.”
Rosemere Cancer Foundation’s Appeal Leader and East Lancashire Funding Co-ordinator Dan Hill said: “It is fantastic that Owen is helping us. He has been through so much at such a young age and has shown amazing maturity.
“He is really inspirational.”
Anyone who wants to help Owen can go to Whittlefield’s just giving page at: www.justgiving.com/Owen-Whittlefield.