About the Charity
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About the Charity
Andrew Becks (1st July 2015)    

Zachary Kai SandersZach’s Helping Hand was a registered charity that was established and officialy registered on 27th May 2006 by the parents of Zachary Kai Sanders, a lively 2 year old boy who was diagnosed with Medullablastoma (brain tumour) in February 2004. Despite 2 major operations and intense chemotherapy, Zach relapsed and sadly died on 21st September 2004, leaving behind his broken hearted parents, 3 older brothers and other family members.

His parents, Claire & Andy, together with a team of fundraisers raised enough money to buy an 8 berth caravan and site it at Butlins, Skegness. They wanted other children diagnosed with terminal or life threatening illnesses to be able to enjoy quality time with their families. They named the caravan Zach's Shack.

Zachary Knighton-SmithOne of those children was Zachary Knighton-Smith who, just before his 5th birthday in February 2009 was diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma (cancer of the developing nervous system and not a million miles different to Medullablastoma). Zac, and his family, together with his best friend and his family enjoyed 4 fantastic holidays in the caravan. Zac loved it there. Despite several operations, 2 of which were life threatening, several rounds of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and different types of treatment at 5 different hospitals in the UK, Germany & America, together with a holistic clinic in Germany over a five year period, sadly he lost his fight on 1st January 2014 leaving behind 2 more broken hearted parents, family members and lots of friends of all ages.

Zacharys ShackZac had some money left in his appeal fund, raised by members of the local community and donated by the parents of another Neuroblastoma sufferer who sadly lost her fight 2 years prior. His parents, Sam & Bob heard about the charity being close to folding due to lack of funds and support and decided that the balance of his appeal fund should go to the charity to help keep it running. 2 boys, so different in age but similar diseases and identical names even though they were spelt differently when shortened. So, Claire & Andy, together with Sam & Bob decided, with the trustees that the 2 families should join forces to keep their boys memory alive. One by the legacy that was created in his memory and the other one by being able to carry it on.

The four parents wanted the charity to be aptly named after BOTH the boys and so on 14th May 2015 Zach's Helping Hand officially became Zacharys’ Shack.

Zacharys’ Shack has two main aims

  • Palliative care at home with the support of the Community Care Team of the Heartlands PCT.
  • To raise money to provide, furnish and maintain a seaside static respite caravan.
    A home away from home for families caring for a terminally ill child to escape from daily pressures and the tireless hospital routine.

The bookings for the caravan are taken by the community nursing team to normally visit the children at home to assist with their care. They will do their best to accommodate as many short breaks as possible from Easter through to the end of season.

Where funds are available, we can also assist with care at home managed through the community nursing team. Obviously this differs to suit each child and can be interpreted in many ways.