Posted on Wednesday 13 November 2019
Two young cancer survivors star in heart-warming surprise video as H. Samuel and Ernest Jones launch children’s teddy bear campaign for Christmas
H. Samuel and Ernest Jones have launched their national fundraising campaign for Christmas with the help of two young cancer survivors to raise vital funds for CLIC Sargent, the UK’s leading charity for children and young people living with cancer.
A cuddly bear called Pebbles is now available nationwide in stores to buy for £9.99, with a donation from the sales going towards the charity. Since launching the charity partnership in 2014, H. Samuel and Ernest Jones, as part of Signet Jewellers, have raised more than £286,000 through teddy bear sales for children and young people with cancer, and more than £800,000 altogether.
The cuddly bear has already captured the hearts of four-year-old Ruby Mugleston and six-year-old Bilbo Godber, who were both supported by CLIC Sargent when they were diagnosed with cancer. Both Ruby and Bilbo were surprised and given a Pebbles teddy with their parents filming their reaction in a heart-warming video to launch this year’s campaign.
Ruby Mugleston, 4, from Pontypool, was diagnosed with Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma in December 2017.
Ruby’s dad Paul said: “Ruby became ill when she was two years old. It took a really long time to work out what the problem was. She was taken into intensive care and we were told there was a slim chance she would survive and were advised to bring her brother and sister down to say goodbye to her.
“Ruby was then diagnosed with cancer. It gave us a level of certainty that we hadn’t had until that point. Knowing what it was gave us a level of hope as there was treatment available.”
Whilst on treatment, Ruby and her family received vital support from CLIC Sargent. They stayed in Sam’s House, one of the charity’s Homes from Home in Bristol, where families can stay for free to be near their child.
“I don’t know how we would have functioned if we hadn’t had help from CLIC Sargent. I couldn’t afford to live in a hotel to be near Ruby at the hospital.
“Staying at Sam’s House made the whole thing do-able. We live more than 40 miles away from the hospital. Having to leave home at 7am, spend all the day at the hospital and going home at 10pm, you are running the risk of having an accident due to exhaustion or not seeing your child as much. CLIC Sargent saved us from being in a disastrous situation.”
Six-year-old Bilbo, from Milton Keynes, was diagnosed with leukaemia in October last year.
Mum Kim said: “When Bilbo was diagnosed with leukaemia, our lives were never to be the same again.
“In the early days we were backwards and forwards to hospital in Oxford every week. The traffic is horrendous, even getting into the hospital grounds can be a nightmare. Over the last year we’ve travelled a total of 3420 miles.
“Bilbo suffered from nasty side effects like nausea. He lost his hair; it broke my heart when he said he was called baldy on the school playground. But he is also incredibly brave and we couldn’t be prouder.”
During this difficult time, the family were supported by Sarah, a CLIC Sargent social worker, who provides practical, emotional and financial support.
“Throughout our journey Sarah has been there for us from day one. Sarah is always a comforting friendly face. She helped us to navigate the minefield that is a cancer diagnosis – and all the emotions and implications – and listened to our concerns.
“I was really worried about Bilbo’s education and Sarah was able to put our minds at rest. She liaised with Bilbo’s school and the hospital school to make sure we had the support we needed.”
With both children now doing well and back at school, both families are determined to give something back to the charity by supporting this year’s campaign.
Rachel Kirby-Rider, Director of Income and Engagement at CLIC Sargent, said: “Seeing Ruby and Bilbo’s reaction to Pebbles was so heart-warming and it’s what Christmas and giving is all about.
“We hope that this campaign inspires people to go out and buy a Pebbles bear for someone else to help CLIC Sargent be there for more children like Ruby and Bilbo and their families.”
Pebbles the bear is available now from any H. Samuel or Ernest Jones store, or by clicking here. For every Pebbles bear bought, H. Samuel and Ernest Jones will donate at least £3.50 to CLIC Sargent.
Watch the amazing moment Ruby and Bilbo received their very own Pebbles here.
Notes to editors
For more information about CLIC Sargent please contact Jessica Browne at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0117 311 2659.
About cancer in children and young people
Today, 12 more children and young people in the UK will hear the devastating news that they have cancer. Treatment normally starts immediately, is often given many miles from home and can last for up to three years. Although survival rates are over 80%, cancer remains the single largest cause of death from disease in children and young people in the UK.
About CLIC Sargent
When cancer strikes young lives CLIC Sargent helps families limit the damage cancer causes beyond their health. CLIC Sargent is the UK’s leading charity for young cancer patients and their families. We provide specialist support, to help and guide each young cancer patient and their family. We will fight tirelessly for them, individually, locally and nationally. For more information, visit www.clicsargent.org.uk
Note to sub editors
Please note that the name ‘CLIC Sargent’ should not be abbreviated to CLIC, and that the word ‘CLIC’ should always appear in capitals, as above.
CLIC Sargent has announced that approximately 40 staff will be made redundant in the coming weeks and several of its charity shops are remaining closed because of the devastating financial impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.