A newspaper helped a cancer charity for teenagers to kit out a retreat with much needed items after publishing a weekly shopping list of items that were needed.
The Hertfordshire Mercury stepped in to support Teens Unite Fighting Cancer, a charity which supports 13 to 24 year- olds with life-limiting illnesses, after it found premises for a retreat but didn’t have the funds to renovate it.
In just seven weeks Mercury readers helped them find everything they needed to decorate and provide amenities for the property including stepladders, paintbrushes, and games consoles.
Deputy editor Julie Gibson said the response had been amazing with phone calls and emails flooding into the news room on a daily basis.
Readers had not only donated every item on the charity’s shopping list but also gave £8,400 in cash.
Said Julie: “Delivering the final gifts to Teens Unite was the best Christmas present for us all at the Mercury.
“I never doubted the generosity of our readers and local businesses, but to have achieved the goal so quickly is nothing short of incredible.
“Debbie, Karen and all the team at Teens Unite do a wonderful job supporting young people with life-limiting illnesses, and it has been a pleasure to be able to help them prepare their retreat and to raise awareness of the work they do.
“It also shows how much the Mercury values its role in the community.”
Shortly before Christmas Mercury staff delivered the news to the charity along with a Nintendo Wii, games and extra controllers bought with donations from local businesses.
The retreat is aimed at being a peaceful home from home where they can build their self-confidence.
The charity was founded four years ago by close friends Debbie Pezzani and fashion designer Karen Millen and gives young people special days out but its ultimate goal was to provide a respite home.
The retreat was made possible after the charity signed a lease with Broxbourne Council for a four-bedroom grade 2 listed building.
The charity has thanked the Mercury for all its support it has given in raising awareness for Teens Unite and helping with the renovation of the house.
The charity hopes to be able to open the retreat soon.