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John’s bird boxes take flight

03 Dec 2020

A family closely linked to our charity has launched an unusual fundraising drive after one of them was diagnosed with cancer.

Long-time fundraiser Pat Laverack and her husband John have always been closely involved with York Against Cancer, and we mean more to them than ever after their daughter Emma was diagnosed with breast cancer this August.

As Emma began a lengthy course of chemotherapy, dad John decided to show his support by building bespoke numbered bird boxes, one for each day of her 84 days of treatment.

Family and friends started requesting to buy a bird box, so a page on the charity site JustGiving was set up with a fundraising target of £1,000 – a target that has been comprehensively smashed as the current total is £2,600.

“I’m so proud of what Dad has done,” said Emma. “His daily labour of love to make a beautiful hand-made bird box has been inspirational to me throughout my treatment. It has been fantastic to see the kind donations coming in in return for the bird boxes.”

Thankfully, Emma has responded brilliantly to her treatment. She will be able to have surgery and radiotherapy in the New Year, with drug therapy to follow.

The family is so grateful that it now wants to take its support for York Against Cancer a stage further.

Emma said they would all normally be looking forward to taking part in the annual Christmas Luncheon organised by Pat Kay, Noreen Bartram and Emma’s mum Pat, due to take place this Sunday December 6.

Unfortunately, in common with many fundraising events, this year’s Luncheon has had to be cancelled because of the pandemic.

Instead, she said, her family would be having their own Christmas Luncheons in a strictly covid-secure manner, and making a donation to our charity through the JustGiving page.

“More than ever, we really want to give York Against Cancer our support,” said Emma. “We would love it if other people wanted to do the same thing on Sunday to give the charity a boost – while, naturally, observing all coronarivus–related restrictions.”

If you would like to join in, you can make a donation through the JustGiving page here:  If you would like to donate and receive a bird box, please make your payment to the JustGiving page and then email separately to let us know.