Joy for Overton schoolboy after fundraising buys holiday home for sick kids

Reece Holt with Benji Roberts at Haven Lakeland Holiday Park.
Reece Holt with Benji Roberts at Haven Lakeland Holiday Park.

Youngsters fighting cancer now have a place they can retreat to for a break thanks to Overton schoolboy Reece Holt’s fundraising efforts.

Reece, 12, has terminal brain cancer himself but has been raising money to help others through his Team Reece appeal.

Reece Holt with some of the team who took part in the It's a Knockout event.

Reece Holt with some of the team who took part in the It's a Knockout event.

And his efforts have now paid off after his bid to buy a £26,000 holiday home came to fruition.

Reece’s mum Rachel O’Neil said: “Just over a year ago during a treatment gap between radiotherapy and chemotherapy starting we wanted to take the boys on a short break away from cancer and the hospital environment and reconnect as a family after months apart while Reece was in Alder Hey.

“We couldn’t afford it due to the costs associated with having a child in treatment and a sudden drop in household income on top.

“Reece decided there and then he wanted to raise money to buy a holiday home to send other families affected by childhood cancer for a break.”

The three-bedroom, eight-berth holiday home at Haven Lakeland Holiday Park in Flookburgh has now been purchased with the help of Haven and will be available for use by the families of children with cancer from mid-June.

A website is in the process of being set up for families to apply to use the caravan, and referrals will also come through Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.

Rachel said: “It’s very exciting and Reece is over the moon that we have achieved one of his targets.”

Meanwhile, Graham Fisher’s It’s A Knockout was held at the Trimpell Sports and Social Club in aid of Team Reece on Saturday. As well as a family-fun obstacle course, the event also included a free funfair, stalls, games and live music which included performances from X Factor star Paul Akister and DJ Matt Thiss.

“It’s fantastic to see how many people are getting behind us and helping us to achieve our goals,” Rachel added.

“The It’s A Knockout was fantastic; we were really lucky with the weather and the turnout was beyond our wildest dreams. Everyone had a really great day.”

Team Reece are also now part funding a project with Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and Liverpool University to offer a new less dangerous way of scanning for children’s tumours.

Lancaster Royal Grammar School pupil Reece has battled Anaplastic Astrocytoma, a malignant tumour that affects only about 10 children a year, for nearly two years.

For more about Team Reece go to their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pg/teamreeceholt/