Jane Gates describes 10 years of work with Sebastian's Action Trust

Published: 30 Dec 2013 17:300 comments

Ten years ago nearly to the day, one special little boy made a very special wish, for a holiday home for seriously-ill children and their whole family, that is open all year round.

In December 2003, we invited Sarah Clark and Stewart Turkington to our home to interview Sebastian for the Ascot and Bracknell News. It was actually Sebastian’s last good day and first bad day; he was really very poorly and quite dependant on oxygen, so it was a brief interview but one that is etched on families’ hearts.

Sebastian only briefly outlined his wish; he was struggling to breathe so he relied on me to speak for him but he did manage to convey that he wanted somewhere that would be open all year round for whole families.

It hardly seems possible that we have reached the 10th anniversary of establishing Sebastian’s Action Trust when Sebastian’s wish was first published in the News on Christmas Day, the day after he passed away.

We have enjoyed reflecting on what we as a trust, together with our supporters, have achieved over the decade – from humble beginnings to a nationally recognised, innovative charity, which remains family focused. Sarah and Stewart have supported the trust since our first meeting. Sarah came to work for the trust promoting the charity and continues to help us today – attending most of the events we run. Stewart continues to be the man behind the camera taking wonderful pictures at many of our events, for which we are most grateful.

Realising Sebastian’s dream of creating a special place where seriously-ill children could enjoy time with their families was our driving force, and at times proved something of an uphill struggle.

But two years on from opening, The Bluebells continues to bloom – it is a unique, thriving, yet peaceful haven, offering the chance for the happy family times my son envisaged.

The Bluebells is only part of our story. Our services began with practical support, helping families in whatever ways we could to address needs that haven’t been met, while we raised funds to build The Bluebells.

Our family services have developed beyond all recognition and we plan for them to grow further, in our anniversary year, with the addition of an outreach centre – a place where families can come to chat, access advice and resources and discover the services available to them. We will continue to remember all who have helped us get where we are today, the incredible children and families who have allowed us the privilege of being a part of their lives and of course we remember our founder Sebastian, who is never far from our thoughts and on whose values and fighting spirit the trust was built. Importantly though, we are also looking to the future to grow our services to families of seriously-ill children and we hope we can count on your support for the next 10 years.

Finally we would also like to thank the News’s support over the past decade to get our message known in the local community and we look

forward to working together in for the next 10 years.

Here’s to an incredible year, celebrating the first decade of Sebastian’s Action Trust!

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