In November 2019 my mother in law, Shirley Parkinson, sadly passed away after a long battle with Cancer. Shirley had lived in Spain for nearly 20 years and was an extremely well liked member of the ex-pat community. At her funeral a collection was held in lieu of flowers which raised over €300. At the wake afterwards I was asked by one of the attendees, Robert Haynes, about the work of the Samantha Sykes Foundation Trust. Rob listened closely and praised us for what the Foundation does. Rob said when he returned to the UK he would like to make a donation. We are extremely grateful to Rob, and everyone at Reward Van Hire in London, as we received a donation of £1000 from them in the first week of January.
Every time we receive any donation we try and do two things, firstly we look at where we can spend that money and secondly we look at the background to the donation, and a little about the donor.
Reward Van Hire are a family run self-drive van hire business started by Rob himself in 1994, they have a great reputation which is backed up by testimonies on Trust Pilot. Reward Van Hire have supported other charities in the local area, and as well as supporting charities they also give a ten percent discount to the people who look after us all daily. That being Police, Fire Service & NHS staff, that discount speaks volumes about this family run business and their ethics.
We then looked at where this money can be spent, we believe that if any donor can see where their money will be spent it gives an indication to everyone that every penny counts, every penny is well spent and every penny goes directly to help a young person. On December 9th we received an application, all applications withhold the young persons name to protect their identity, so each person has a reference name. In the case of the application, where we will spend the donation of £1000 from Rob, it was for “ Unicorn”. Unicorn is a twelve year old female who has not had the best start in her early years. Unicorn has been a victim of Child Sexual Abuse (CSE). The next lines are exactly what the application said, nothing is edited.
“Unicorn has experienced sexual abuse from being groomed & sexually exploited. There is an ongoing live police investigation & this has impacted of this child’s emotional wellbeing & functioning. Other complicating factors, including her late adoption, have exposed her to being vulnerable & will almost certainly lead to further neglect & abuse. Professional social care & agencies have recommended that Unicorn requires a specialist therapy, to help her recovery & go on to reach her full potential in the coming years ahead”
With the help of Rob Haynes and the team and family at Reward Van Hire we will be passing Unicorn on to the very capable care of Dr Andrew Dalziell, consultant in Bilateral Integration Neuro- Developmental Practitioner. Unicorn will be able to start the rehabilitation she so desperately needs. Without this donation and our assistance the statement in the text above may become a reality .
“ will almost certainly lead to further neglect & abuse “
Dr Dalziell, who will be working with Unicorn, is partially funded by the Local Authority and the outstanding balance for the treatment was £1,024, so the £1,000 donated will fill the deficit.
The Samantha Sykes Foundation receives accolades and awards, but the truth is we are only the middle man, without the support of people such as Rob and his family and everyone else who donates we could not function. This is a fantastic start to the year and already this is our busiest start to any year in the 5 years, since we registered with The Charity Commission.
If anyone is planning an event, and is looking for a charity to support, please consider The Samantha Sykes Foundation, we are 100% volunteers which means every single penny donated makes a difference. You too could follow in Robert Haynes shoes and make a difference to a young life.