Announcement about the Trust on Huw’s 23rd birthday
Today is Huw’s 23rd birthday and The Huw Thatcher Trust in his memory has been active for 7 ½ years. There has never been a target or goal for the Trust. There were no expectations; it was something that evolved. The fact that the activities to raise funds in Huw’s memory continued for so long, has been a pleasant surprise.
However, now seems a natural time to close the Trust. What we have all done together has been amazing, and it has been a source of great comfort to know that people thought so much of Huw, to inspire them to do what they did. We should regard this announcement as a positive one; a chance to look back at what we achieved together.
But to be clear – there is nothing to stop anyone who wants to do something in Huw’s memory from doing so and some of us will do something significant in 2021, when it will be ten years. Perhaps a local charity could be supported if any future fund raising activity takes place? And it may be that from time to time people wish to make a donation to a charity in Huw’s name – in fact a number of people do this. If they wish, they can perhaps donate to a charity of their choice in Huw’s name, or direct to BIRT who we have supported from the Huw Thatcher Trust for the last 7 ½ years.
The Huw Thatcher Trust web site will stay as it is, but won’t be updated on a regular basis going forward. It will be left as it is, for people to look at. We will continue to find great comfort from visiting and maintaining Huw’s bench at Digley, and the same at Sands in Holmfirth. And from time to time we may still put things on Facebook about Huw, or exchange photos.
The Spirit of Huw Thatcher award will continue to be presented to a 15 year old footballer at Hepworth United Football Club each season, as will the Huw Thatcher Pride and Passion Shield for a 15 year old cricketer at Upperthong Cricket Club. These awards mean a lot, and we’re sure they do to the people who receive them each year.
Huw lives with us every single day, and that will never change. But the Huw Thatcher Trust fundraising work will now close, so now is a good time to celebrate the fantastic things we have done since that first cake and bake sale at the Holmfirth Church in May 2011.
Some of the highlights are:
- In total we raised £119,000 in memory of Huw – that’s a lot of money from Huw’s family, his friends, and their families.
- There were scores of bike rides, with over 35,000 miles covered in total. That would take you from Holmfirth to Sydney three times!
- People of all ages ran, walked or climbed for Huw nearly 200 times.
- Over 300 games of five a side football were played.
- 2000 people went to 3 gigs at the Picturedrome.
- Thousands of cakes were baked by hundreds of people – often decorated with love and showing blue or yellow hearts, blue number 2s, and Huw’s initials.
- There were scores of other events – some just to remember Huw like the balloon releases and bulb planting – others to both remember Huw and raise funds like the sports dinner at Ainley Top, the karate events, the leg waxing, school non uniform days, and so on.
- Tens of thousands of individual donations of time and / or money were made to the Huw Thatcher Trust.
- And all the things we did relied on the kind efforts of people to organise them, support them, provide transport and so on.
The driving force behind all the wonderful things we have done together has been Huw; it has all come from the heart. We are incredibly proud that so many people have been inspired and moved to do so many challenging and positive things in memory of Huw.
A heartfelt thank you to everyone who stood up and organised an event, who contributed their time or financially, or who took part in an event; your generosity and kindness in Huw’s name has meant so much.
There is a special thank you to make to our family members, who we love very much; especially to his cousins who were close to Huw’s age and therefore such an important part of his life.
And there is a special thank you also to the 15 year olds who are now 22 or 23 from Huw’s school year and age group. The teenagers of 7 ½ years ago were courageous, considerate, sensitive, and mature. The 15 year olds from Huw’s age group, who became 16, 17 and so on over the years, were a source of great strength in very difficult times, and it is wonderful to still to see them around and about. Their love for Huw is something that will stay with us forever. They are a great credit to their families, to their schools at the time, and to the community of Holmfirth. The same comments apply to Carys’s friends, many of whom were also close to Huw.
This is not the end of a journey – everyone who knew Huw will remember him throughout their lives. At the end of this message are some quotes from senior people from the BIRT charity who are grateful for everything we have done. There is also a financial summary of the funds we raised and how they have been used.
On 25th November 1995 Huw made his Mum’s and Dad’s dreams come true. His sister was born a year and 9 months later and thrilled her Mum and Dad just the same – and Huw soon had a willing playmate – and Carys had an older brother who adored her. They taught each other about how to love, laugh, cry, and sometimes (like all siblings) to argue – they learnt from each other about loyalty, trust, and of course how to have a lot of fun – anyone who knew Huw will be aware that having fun was very important to him, and he really knew how to enjoy himself. Huw was the perfect son and brother, and we are grateful and lucky to have him as part of our family.
With love as always to our beautiful boy Huw Nicholas Thatcher, who grew up to be a beautiful young man, who we will adore and be proud of for ever.
For anyone involved in the Trust – hope to see you soon, with lots of love, thanks, and good wishes xxx
Messages of thanks from BIRT
Irene Sobowale – Chief Executive
After more than seven years, the Huw Thatcher Trust is to wind down its fundraising activities. I would like to express my sincere thanks to Huw’s family and friends who have so generously supported our Brain Injury services; enhanced and undoubtedly changing the lives of so many people.
The first donation was £10,000, made to the Eyes Alight Appeal, set up by Disabilities Trust Ambassador, Izzy Judd, to fulfil the wishes of people with brain injury. Since then, many of our services around the country have benefitted from their donations including Daniel Yorath House and Osman House in Yorkshire where Huw grew up and at Tŷ Aberdafen in Wales, home of his football team, Cardiff City. Funded projects and purchases have included IT and physiotherapy equipment, garden makeovers and music therapy sessions.
Most recently, Redford Court in Liverpool has received substantial funds for their planned sensory cabin where we will mark the generosity of the Huw Thatcher Trust with a plaque in memory of Huw.
Steve Howell – Chair of Trustees
I am delighted to be able to take this opportunity to thank Disabilities Trust Ambassador, Nick Thatcher, and everybody who has raised money in memory of Huw. Over the years, Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust (BIRT) services have received over £100,000 from the Huw Thatcher Trust and so many people have benefitted from their kind donations. It is testament to Huw that his family and friends have enhanced people’s lives and provided an enduring memory of Huw.
Izzy Judd – Ambassador for the Disabilities Trust
I would like to add my thanks to supporters of the Huw Thatcher Trust, particularly for the donation of £10,000 to Eyes Alight. I set up this appeal, inspired by my brother who suffered a serious brain injury as a result of a car accident. From talking to other people at Kent house, where he lives, I learned that there were things that we could fundraise for that would make a big difference to their lives. With the help of the funds from the Huw Thatcher Trust, we have been able to make brain injury rehabilitation a little brighter.
Gabby Logan – Vice Patron for the Disabilities Trust
I have been hugely impressed by and grateful to the supporters of the Huw Thatcher Trust. As Vice Patron of The Disabilities Trust, I was delighted to meet Nick Thatcher a few years ago and talk to him about the many donations, including those to Daniel Yorath House, which is very close to my heart. The money raised in memory of Huw has undoubtedly changed lives.
The Huw Thatcher Trust
Closing financial statement – 25th November 2018
Total income £119,000
Richard Ford Trust – £3,000
Skate for Isaac – £200
Maintenance of Huw’s bench & tubs in Holmfirth & Digley – £300
Laura Cane Cancer Trust – £50
Purchase of memory brick at Upperthong Cricket Club £200
Payment in kind to BIRT (garden materials) – £2,000
BIRT cash expenditure – see table below – £113,250
Total expenditure – £119,000
BIRT cash expenditure
|Eyes Alight Appeal||£10,000|
|Daniel Yorath House – Leeds|
|Internet cafe and equipment||£7,000|
|Osman House – Leeds|
|Garden work in 2012||£4382|
|Heathermount – Berkshire|
|Musical equipment for young people||£400|
|Chalkdown House – Swindon|
|Tŷ Aberdafen – Llanelli|
|Bicycles and equipment||£1000|
|Goole neuro rehabilitation centre|
|Daniel Yorath House – Leeds|
|Music therapy services||£900|
|Thomas Edward Mitton House – Milton Keynes|
|Redecoration and signage project||£6,550|
|Osman House – Leeds|
|Garden work in 2017/18||£9978|
|York House – York|
|Redford Court – Liverpool|
|Total BIRT cash||£113,250|