Joanne Naylor set up Aalish’s Ride The Theme Dream charity after her daughter Aalish, lost her battle with neuroblastoma - a cancer which affects the nerve tissue - in June last year at the age of eight.
Aalish’s Ride The Theme Dream not only aims to keep the memory of the eight-year-old alive, but will offer children with the rare form of cancer and their families time away from the hospital to be able to enjoy theme parks.
Joanne has held a variety of events to fundraise towards the charity’s registration and through the two latest fund-raising events held by students at Barnsley College, she is now just £500 from hitting her target of £5,000.
The college held two events including an 80s night at the end of March and recently held a spring fair in Dodworth.
Both events have helped Joanne now reach £4,500.
Travel and tourism second year students from the college organised both events for the event planning part of their course; as their tutor Kerry Alexander knows the Naylor family and her daughter used to play with Aalish.
Speaking about getting involved with the college to fundraise for Aalish’s Ride The Theme Dream, Joanne said: “Once we are a charity and once we become registered, it opens up different avenues and we can do a lot more.
“We can use more businesses, or something as simple as putting a fund-raising pot on the counter or standing at the football ground with a bucket and stuff like that because that is something we can’t do without being registered.
“Not only that but we can start helping our first family which is something I can’t wait to do.
“I can’t wait to put a smile on that child’s face because they go through hell and back - my daughter went through hell and back for the two and a half years that she battled this disease; but she never gave up and she continued to smile throughout it all.
“She always had a smile on her face, even on her bad days.
“So to see a child smiling when they are going through all that is priceless.
“Aalish was a big lover of theme parks and we want to send a family to any UK theme park.
“We want to work alongside Sheffield Children’s Hospital because that’s where she was looked after and we also want to work alongside other hospitals too.”
Kerry added: “I already know Joanne but part of our course this year for travel and tourism is event planning and the students decided to organise a spring fair as part of their course.
“I encouraged them to do it as a fund-raising event and we came up with the spring fair and I introduced them to Joanne.
“She came to the college and spoke to everybody and they really wanted to be able to help out.”
The event was also just as successful for the students as well as it was for Joanne and the charity - with many students learning more about neuroblastoma and saying they were glad to help out a good cause.
Travel and tourism student Charlotte Foy, 19, said: “We wanted to help raise money for Aalish’s charity because her mum came in and gave us some information about her and we just wanted to help her family and other families by raising money.”
For more information or to contact Joanne, search ‘Aalish’s Ride The Theme Dream’ on Facebook or donate to the Just Giving page, justgiving.com/crowdfunding/joanne-naylor.