It may be a couple of weeks away, but one Wirral family is preparing to go back to school already, while supporting their local children’s hospice thanks to an Ellesmere Port superstore.
Finley Wild, aged eight, and his cousins Oscar and Harry Wilkes, aged six and seven, went wild in the aisles at the Sainsbury’s store, wearing the supermarket’s latest school range.
The boys are proud advocates of Claire House after Finley’s older brother Elliot was supported by the hospice during his battle with leukaemia. Elliot died in March 2011.
The supermarket invited the boys down after Claire House was selected as its charity of the Year.
Staff at the store, based in Cheshire Oaks, are hoping to raise thousands to support its work, providing specialist care, support and choice to families whose children won’t live to be adults.
Finley, who will be entering Year 4 at Higher Bebington Junior School in September, said: “Wearing a school uniform in August was a bit weird but I soon got used to it!
“I loved shouting for the camera and making all the customers in Sainsbury’s wonder what was going on.
“I love to support Claire House because they’ve helped me and my family so much. My cousins and I go on lots of days out with other kids whose brothers and sisters are in heaven and it’s really fun.”
Jackie Wild, Elliot and Finley’s mum, said: “September is always a really difficult time for us as we constantly think about what Elliot would have been up to. He’d be going into Year 8 at high school this year.
“Elliot loved school. When his second bone marrow transplant fell through, he turned and said to me ‘Oh well, I can go to school tomorrow now’.
“The support of Claire House has helped us through the darkest of times and that’s why we, as an entire family, love helping to give something back.”The Wild family have raised nearly £100,000 for Claire House in Elliot’s memory.
Nick Hugh, deputy store manager of Sainsbury’s in Ellesmere Port, said: “We’re so delighted to be working with Claire House Children’s Hospice as our Charity of the Year.
“The Wild family are a true inspiration in their fundraising.”