National honour for charity boosters

Katie and her family presenting a copy of their award to the Hippodrome team. (S)

Katie and her family presenting a copy of their award to the Hippodrome team. (S)

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When Katie Chadwick contracted encephalitis her family and friends decided to raise lots of money for the charity that helped her.

And now they have been given a national honour in recognition of their fund-raising.

Katie (23), of Birchenlee Lane, Colne, suffered the serious brain condition and needed lengthy hospital treatment.

As she started out on the road to a full recovery, her family and friends decided to raise money for The Encephalitis Society.

And after raising £7,500 they were invited to London to receive a Community Fundraiser Award from the charity.

Their efforts included a spectacular show at Pendle Hippodrome Theatre in Colne.

“The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow” attracted a massive audience and about 150 performers, including children, appeared stage. Katie’s sister Emilie (12) was among the performers.

It was organised by Katie’s mum and dad, Leisa and Paul, and friends including the theatre’s committee.

Another major fund-raiser was organised by the Hippodrome’s great actor and singer Josh Hindle. It was “Big Band Boogie Night” at the Mechanics Theatre in Burnley. And there was also another charity boost at Rolls-Royce Leisure in Barnoldswick.

Katie, Leisa, Paul, Emilie and others – Josh Hindle, Cathryn Osborne, David Smith, Elizabeth O’Connell, and Simon and Helen Cheung – were on hand at The Encephalitis Society’s Masquerade Party at Glaziers Hall, London, to receive the ward.

And at the Hippodrome’s Christmas Arts, Crafts and Gifts Fair launch, the theatre was presented with the award by Leisa, who thanked them for staging the fund-raising event.

Dr Ava Easton, chief executive of the Encephalitis Society, said: “Katie’s friends and family have done so much for us in the past year and we really wanted to show them how much that means to us by giving them the Award. They have shown what can be possible when a community comes together in support of others.

“The money they raised will now go towards providing support for people who have encephalitis and to providing research into the condition.”

Leisa said: “Katie is well on the road to full recovery now. When I got the letter from the Society I was quite overwhelmed.

“Quite often when you raise money for charities you don’t hear from them.

“So I was delighted to get the letter and it was great for us all to go down there.”

And Katie said: “I was very pleased with them all for raising the money for the charity and all the hard work they did.”

She also revealed that on Sunday there is a boost for the charity in Skipton – a Santa Fun Run. You can donate to that by visiting: uk.virginmoneygiving.com/helenmillington1

And Leisa also suggested support for another fundraiser on Tuesday – schools are invited to take part in the charity’s Christmas Jumper Day. Children donate £1 and wear one of their own jumpers. To find out more visit www.encephalitis.info