New backpacks will support children in hospital

Chloe Chandler with mum Victoria and baby brother Hunter, Little Dunmow, Essex

Chloe Chandler with one of the new ‘We've Got Your Back’ packs, with mum Victoria and baby brother Hunter, Little Dunmow - Credit: Essex Freemasons

A new backpack scheme will provide comfort, support and boredom busting supplies to children in hospital.

The ‘We've Got Your Back’ packs by Lennox Children's Cancer Fund have a drink, board games, colouring books and journals, a blanket, socks, gloves, headphones and chargers, and more.

The packs have just been launched and will be given to hundreds of patients receiving treatment at the Essex major hospitals in Colchester, Chelmsford, Basildon, Southend and Romford.

One of the recipients is Chloe Chandler, six, from Little Dunmow, who is fighting a rare form of cancer. 

Essex Freemasons have provided £23,000 in grant funding to ensure the service can be maintained for at least the next two years.

Group representing Essex Freemasons, Lennox Children's Cancer Fund, and a family in Little Dunmow

The backpack contents and Essex Freemasons Provincial Charity Steward Colin Felton, Lennox Children’s Cancer Fund Family Support Manager Vicky Nash, Essex Freemasons Provincial Grand Master Paul Tarrant, Gary Grange of the Lennox Children's Cancer Fund, with Chloe Chandler, mum Victoria and baby brother Hunter - Credit: Essex Freemasons

Vicky Nash, Family Support Manager for the Lennox Children’s Cancer Fund, said: “When children are diagnosed with cancer, they are often immediately whisked from their local hospital to their nearest Principal Treatment Centre.

"This happens so quickly that they and the parents are totally unprepared for what happens next which means they have understandably failed to bring with them essentials such as toothpaste and toiletries.

"Our packs are designed to help overcome those problems – ensuring that the child patients and their parents have the essentials they need and something to beat the boredom.”

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Paul Tarrant, Provincial Grand Master for Essex Freemasons, said: “The Lennox Children’s Cancer Fund are doing some wonderful work and I am delighted that between us we will making lives easier for hundreds of local youngsters.”