By Connor Steel
WESTBURY MANOR MUSEUM is due to be lit in gold throughout September as it marks Childhood Cancer Awareness month starting on Thursday; the news confirmed in a press release on Sunday night (August 28) following recent discussions between both Fareham Borough Council and Hampshire Cultural Trust leaders.
The global initiative is aimed at raising both awareness and crucial funding for ever-improving treatments of childhood cancer with frightening statistics for those impacted. Twelve children are diagnosed with a form of cancer every day across the UK whilst two of those will not survive; with higher death rates across the world.
With the gold ribbon an internationally recognised symbol for childhood cancer, the Fareham based museum will join hundreds of landmarks across the UK in paying tribute to children and family members impacted by the disease; the best views likely to be in the early mornings or evenings throughout the 30 days next month.
Fareham and Gosport residents are of course familiar to the tragic impacts of childhood cancers, thousands following the journey of Sophie Fairhall’s twelve month battle with the disease. As previously reported the ten year old sadly passed away from a rare cancer in September 2021 with her funeral later held in Stubbington.
A registered charity, Sophie’s Legacy, was founded during this journey and has been supported by Fareham Borough Council alongside other local organisations; funding the transport, emergency supplies, snacks and toiletry boxes for 15 wards in Portsmouth / Southampton hospitals. It has also inspired 1000s of residents to complete charitable causes and attend events like ‘Sophie’s Match’ at Gosport’s Privett Park back on May 8.
The Executive Leader of Fareham Borough Council, Cllr Seán Woodward, said: “We want to raise as much awareness as possible for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month so Westbury Manor Museum will join many other local and national landmarks being lit in gold on 1 September. We are also encouraging donations to Sophie’s Legacy. Sophie’s loss was felt throughout the Borough and it is a charity close to all our hearts.”
He continued to add the following: “Cancer is the number one disease related killer of children under the age of 15 and it is something that no child, or their family, should have to endure. Early detection is paramount, and the more people are aware of the signs and symptoms the quicker they can seek lifesaving treatment.”
Readers can find out more information about Sophie’s Legacy by visiting www.sophieslegacy.co.uk, whilst further details about Westbury Manor Museum and its exhibitions can be read via the accessible link here.
PICTURED BY CHRISTOPHER STEEL: Westbury Manor Museum, located opposite the old Argos site in Fareham West Street, prepares to be lit gold for childhood cancer month from this Thursday (September 1).