About Kids Cancer Charity
In 2019, Kids Cancer Charity, formerly Christian Lewis Trust, will be commemorating 30 years of caring and supporting families, children and teenagers affected by cancer. In this time we have grown considerably and gained UK-wide recognition for our work and activities.
In 1988, a group of parents and supporters came together following the tragic news that 4-year-old Christian Lewis had been diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare form of children's cancer. They worked to raise money to send him and his family on a lifetime trip to Disneyworld Florida. As they became more involved, so they discovered the shortcomings in local health & care services throughout Wales when it came to providing help and support to families who were trying to cope with the unthinkable.
The decision to do something started when Barbara Thomas agreed to turn her spare bedroom in Newton, Swansea into a base for a local group calling themselves "the cancer-busters" and several months later culminated with the launch of the Christian Lewis Trust Children's Cancer Charity in May 1989.
Christian had died in January.
Today, the charity has a small service team assisted by many part-timers and volunteers who between them cover the UK. There is also a fund-raising office in Cardiff. We have seen some very tough times financially, but we have also been able to help thousands of people and never once stopped working or reduced our commitments. As Barbara and the staff put it, "We believe that quality of life for children with cancer is a right. To work with them and their families is a privilege."
We are probably best known for our Holiday Programme which ranges from luxury static caravans on specially chosen sites situated on the coast in Wales, where the family can get away from the pressures of hospital and treatment, to resort holidays in both Walt Disney World in Florida and Disneyland Paris where we have partners able to provide a unique programme of supervised and special facilities. The aim is to provide memories intended to last for a lifetime.
"When the holiday gets close and that large white envelope pops through the letterbox, the excitement really begins", as one of our families put it.
We have also become expert in specialist travel insurance and have developed links with a network of insurers providing cover for families travelling with children affected by cancer.
Our philosophy on support is that it is all about continuity; no matter what the prognosis. Accordingly, the range of services includes Play Therapy where children affected by cancer and their brothers and sisters can tackle the deep issues through their natural medium of play and Bereavement Support which helps families cope with the prospect and the results of grief.
On 19th July 2011 the Charity Commission formerly approved the Trust's change of name to the 'Kids Cancer Charity' to better reflect the services offered by the Trust in the UK as a whole. In the same month, the company name registered at Companies House was also changed from the 'Christian Lewis Trust' to the 'Kids Cancer Charity'. The registered charity number and the company number remain unchanged, as do our aims and objectives.