New Den plans would have delighted my Jak
Mum’s pride as project grows
The Te a m Jak Foundation, a charity who support young people diagnosed with cancer, are launching a new crowdfunding campaign to help raise £180,000 to help even more youngsters.
Today ( Thursday) marks what would have been Jak’s 18th birthday and his mum Allison Barr wants to make sure the inspirational teen’s legacy continues.
Jak was diagnosed with an aggressive form of blood cancer in 2014, but before he lost his fight with the disease, he shared a vision with his family – to open Jak’s Den – a safe haven for young cancer patients from around Scotland and their families and friends, where they can receive emotional support and therapy.
Allison opened the first Jak’s Den in Livingston in 2015 but with limited funding available, it wasn’t able to meet all the necessary requirements.
But on the day he would have turned 18, the charity have revealed plans for a new Jak’s Den, which could open as early as spring 2018 in Ochil House in Livingston.
Allison explained: “We are absolutely over the moon as a family and charity to be announcing our exciting next steps on what would’ve been Jak’s 18th birthday.
“It has taken a huge amount of work to get to this point and the search has been on for bigger premises since March this year when we started to outgrow our current den.
“When we opened Jak’s Den mark one we didn’t expect it to take off so quickly. The sad fact is that 11 children in the UK are diagnosed with cancer each day. We are now at the point where we need a ground floor, further disabled resources and dedicated counselling space to meet this demand.
“At the moment we are working with 64 families directly through Jak’s Den and serving many others through Edinburgh and Glasgow children’s hospitals by providing snacks, goodies, diagnosis and sibling sacks, vouchers and music therapy.
“We have already raised almost half of the required £ 300,000 of our ambitious project but need to ensure we have enough revenue to keep it running and also create this beautiful garden space which will be greatly appreciated by all.
“Our new Den will have almost every single aspect that Jak asked for including provision of a neutropenic café once a month, for families where the food will be cooked to stringent health and safety regulations by a local chef, which makes me as his mum and mum of all our Jak’s Den family very, very proud.”
As well as flexible indoor spaces for music and play therapies, media zones and a soft play, the new Jak’s Den will offer an impressive outdoor space.
This will feature a spa therapy pod, a music pod and a counselling pod, zen garden and angel garden - a special place where people who are bereaved can go to remember loved ones.
To donate visit http://mydonate.bt.com/events/jaksden180000.
Special commemoration Allison wants to raise £180,000 to mark Jak’s 18th birthday