A couple who have been fundraising in memory of their son for more than 15 years are closing in on a £200,000 milestone.
To take another step towards this target, Michael and Wendy Foot are putting the final touches with their team to a ceilidh that will be held at Downham Market Town Hall on Saturday, April 21.
It will be the eighth time the Walpole St Peter couple have organised the fundraising event with the profits from the evening, once again, being shared between funds to buy little luxuries for hospital patients at Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Arthritis Research UK.
The couple’s son, Robert Foot, worked as a political adviser for the Ministry of Defence and was made an OBE for his work in Sierra Leone during the country’s civil war.
But when leukaemia victim Robert stayed at hospital there wasn’t anything in his room to keep him entertained, and his heartbroken parents watched him grow frustrated from having nothing to do as the 33-year-old started to lose his cancer battle.
So after Robert died on November 5, 2002, his parents set up a charity in his memory the very next day to buy countless games consoles, DVDs, portable DVD players and board games for patients to enjoy at the QEH.
Patients staying at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, in Cambridge, and Guy’s Hospital in London have also benefited from the couple’s determination.
All three hospitals were places Robert stayed.
Mr Foot, who was headteacher at Reffley Primary School, said: “When we began raising money we had no idea of ever reaching £200,000.
“We are so grateful to all those people who have supported us over the years.”
Mrs Foot added: “The ceilidh, which we share with Jan and Roger Scofield, representing Arthritis Research UK, is always a happy occasion and we hope to raise at least £1,000 again this year.”
Tickets for the ceilidh, which starts at 7.30pm, cost £10, or £5 for school-age children.
There will be a bar, tombola, and a light supper.
People will be able to dance with Take The Floor, and there will be a caller.
Tickets can be brought in advance from Lewks record store in Wales Court, Downham Market, or by telephoning Mr and Mrs Foot on 01945 780468.