Family raises thousands of pounds following death of Ringstead teenager

Jay Harrison
Jay Harrison

A family has raised thousands of pounds in memory of Jay Harrison who died aged just 18.

The Northants Telegraph recently reported how the youngster from Ringstead had been determined to organise a fundraiser when he was better.

I think Jay would feel very proud of the amount of people that have supported the fundraising efforts

Allyson Harrison

He wanted to raise money for Clic Sargent for children with cancer and the Teenage Cancer Trust, specifically Ward 27 at Leicester Royal Infirmary which was Jay’s home for many months after being diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.

Sadly Jay was unable to hold the event before he died on March 28, but to honour his wish, a weekend of events has been lined up in Ringstead from July 3 to July 5.

All proceeds from these events will add to the money which his family has also been raising.

Mum Allyson Harrison said: “The weekend of fundraising was something that Jay had started to plan himself in the early stages of his diagnosis, but he couldn’t do it so we are just carrying on where he left off.

“But I think we have probably gone much bigger than he had planned.

“His original idea was to have a fun day on the Sunday but it’s got a bit bigger than that now.”

Allyson said the support shown ahead of the fundraiser had been great, and added: “It’s keeping us busy, it’s given us something to focus on.”

She said Jay was a typical 18-year-old who liked socialising, being with his friends and his music.

When he was diagnosed, they were told the cancer could be treated and his younger brother was lined up for a stem cell transplant.

But the family was told just a week before Jay died that he would not recover.

Allyson said Jay was aware he was going to have the transplant, but became too poorly to have it.

His mum said: “It was horrible, but we are quite thankful that we don’t think he was aware of how poorly he was.”

Jay’s positivity while he was ill has inspired his family to raise money for the charities he wanted to support.

Allyson raised £2,500 after having her head shaved earlier this year and her eldest son Carl Waltham is hoping to add to this by doing the London Triathlon with a 1.5km swim through the Thames, a 40km cycle and a 10km run for the Teenage Cancer Trust.

She said: “Ward 27 was like a home for Jay.

“The staff were amazing, they just used to chat with him and mess around, there was lots of jokes and banter.

“The facilities in there were great.

“The fundraising was always something Jay wanted to do.”

More than £2,000 was also raised at Jay’s funeral with people donating money rather than buying flowers.

His mum added: “I think Jay would feel very proud of the amount of people that have supported the fundraising efforts.

“I think he would feel very special.”

Allyson said they are so grateful for all the support and said: “People have been so generous.

“We’d like to say thank you because the support has been amazing.”

People can sponsor Carl by going to https://www.justgiving.com/CarlWaltham-TCT/