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Bracknell News helps raise £500,000 – and make schoolboy's dream a reality

A schoolboy’s dream to raise £500,000 has been achieved – with a little help from the Bracknell News.

Staff at the Trinity Mirror title were jubilant this week after the Sebastian Gates charity announced that it had reached its target – two years and nine months after the nine-year-old schoolboy from Ascot died from cancer.

Sebastian’s dream was to open a holiday home where other seriously ill children could spend time with their families.

Bracknell News editor Joe Wise said: “Sebastian wrote to films stars and anyone else he thought would help – but no one replied. Then his grandparents contacted our paper – and we were able to get the ball rolling.”

Sadly, on the day the charity was launched in the paper – Christmas Eve 2003, Sebastian died.

But his parents and friends decided to continue their fundraising work in tribute to the brave youngster.

The Bracknell News designed a logo for the charity and helped arrange several major events which raised cash for the appeal.

Joe said: “The real credit must go to one of our former reporters, Sarah Clark, who masterminded our coverage. She even organised a charity walk to raise funds.

“It was her story – so this week I invited her back to write our splash article on the success of the appeal.

“In a matter of months building work will start on Sebastian’s House which is to be sited about seven miles from Basingstoke in Hampshire.

“We at the Bracknell News are just delighted to have played some part in the appeal and we now plan to help raise funds to equip the holiday home.”