A fund-raising legacy in Edward Dee’s name is benefiting good causes more than five years since the Fylde schoolboy’s death – and his family are determined for it to continue to grow into 2022 and beyond.
It was five years on December 5 since Edward lost his life to meningitis in 2016, after which his grieving mum Elizabeth spearheaded a remarkable fund-raising drive to generate more than £100,000 for Meningitis Now via the Edward Dee Forever Fund.
That was followed by the establishment of the Edward Dee Fund, which has raised around £50,000 for community projects around Fylde as well as continuing support for causes related to the disease which claimed the life of the Clifton Primary School pupil.
Despite the difficulties of fund-raising during the pandemic, the fifth anniversary of Edward’s death was marked with a £5,000 donation each to Meningitis Now, Meningitis Research Foundation and Sepsis UK.
Elizabeth Dee with one of the cheque presented on the fifth anniversary of Edward’s death
“It has been a difficult year for so many charities,” said Elizabeth.
“Income has dropped, events non-existent, and in many cases staff having been made redundant.
“The Edward Dee Fund has struggled in these Covid times to get out and about in the community to educate, engage and inspire people with raising awareness and doing events. But we have done our best to keep a strong presence and reach out to people virtually as much as possible.
Edward Dee with mum Elizabeth
Edward, from St Annes, died aged 10, leaving his parents Elizabeth and Justin, and brothers William and Oliver.
Elizabeth added: “I have always stressed the importance of raising awareness of meningitis and sepsis, wanting to fund research into these diseases, support those affected and to advocate for the importance of vaccination.
“We are so grateful for all the support and to be able to make these donations.
“In the run-up to Christmas, we continued to raise awareness with the Trees for Edward initiative, giving out little crocheted, knitted or sewn trees, lovingly made by so many in our community.
“They are given out as a random act of kindness, to raise awareness of meningitis and sepsis and the work of the charity, and of course remembering Edward, always.
“Edward loved trees, climbing and whittling them, and the last thing we did together as a family was decorate the family Christmas Tree.
“So much love goes into the Trees for Edward project, not only in the making and giving of the trees, but in the story behind it. A Tree for Edward was also in St Annes Parish Church, for its Trees Festival, adorned with these little handmade trees, offering the opportunity for people to take a tree home with them, and that they will take time to look at the work of the charity.
“In January some students from Blackpool FC Community Trust Sports College are holding a 24-hour bikeathon, to raise funds and awareness for The Edward Dee Fund and in February, The Snowdrop Centre will be organising a service for bereaved families, to be held in Stanley Park, with the planting of more snowdrops in the park later on in the year.
“More events will come, and I’m especially looking forward to the Ball for Edward at Ribby Hall on September 24.
“We had a very successful ball for the charity in 2019 but have been unable to repeat it so far because of the pandemic so we hope the 2022 event will be very special.”
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