The family of Jaxon Stars, one of the children at the heart of Children’s Hospices Across Scotland’s most urgent Christmas appeal, has expressed their joy in helping to raise over £400,000 for children just like Jaxon.
The 2020 Christmas appeal featured CHAS family stories from up and down the country and highlighted that that now, more than ever, CHAS is determined to ensure that no-one has to face the death of their child alone amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The success of the Scotland-wide campaign, which also included a radio advert and CHAS’s first-ever television advert, marked the culmination of a year where Scot’s stood alongside those in greatest need and donated generously. Extraordinary support was shown from individuals, community and corporate groups, trusts, events, and school and youth groups; helping the charity to continue to deliver vital services.
Jaxon’s mum, Lisa Stars said: “I am in awe at how much the CHAS Christmas campaign has raised and feel so honoured to have played a part in this in memory of Jaxon.
“We all miss Jaxon so much and, as he was born at Christmas-time, being involved in the CHAS campaign was a wonderful tribute to him. My family also contributed by doing our own little fundraiser to mark his birthday which raised over £500.
“I feel really proud knowing we have helped to raise money for families going through what we went through across Scotland. We received so many lovely messages of support and people have given so generously so I would like to say a personal thank you to everyone for their kindness and their donations.”
Recent research commissioned by CHAS shows there over 16,700 babies, children and young people in Scotland living with a life-shortening condition. The charity has an ambitious mission to reach every family going through the terrifying heartbreak of seeing their child die young and the need for their services is continuing to rise.
Throughout the pandemic, the charity has had to dramatically transform the way in which it operates and December marked one of the busiest months to date. In its latest impact report, CHAS highlights that over 618 children and families joined in with virtual events and the hospices continued to deliver end of life care. CHAS at Home nurses have never been in greater demand with the team undertaking over 270 homecare visits all across the country offering care to families in their own homes. CHAS also introduced a new bereavement service which helped families build resilience and enabled them to feel empowered to cope with the death of their child at a difficult time of year. All of this was made possible by generous supporters.
Iain McAndrew, Director of Fundraising and Communications at CHAS, said: “I want to extend a huge thank you to everyone who has helped us raise this astounding amount and supported us through a very busy December - we are overwhelmed and incredibly grateful. This campaign has also allowed us to reach a whole new group of supporters and partners with almost a third of all gifts coming from supporters completely new to us!
“The need for our care is increasing and the pandemic is continuing to present tough challenges so this marks our most important campaign to date. Many of the families who have shared their story have felt lonely and isolated, with their support systems cut off, but you have shown them that they are not alone. You have been right there by their side with your donations and wonderful messages of support which they will treasure forever.
“Work doesn’t stop here if we are to reach every child and family that needs us. CHAS will push forward against the challenges of the year and continue to keep the joy alive for children and families just like Jaxon’s so we’d urge you to continue to support these families, if you can.”
You can read more about the difference you help make every day by reading CHAS’s December impact report.