The Wardle Story
"It has been brilliant what the Trust have done for me. It’s fun enjoyable and friendly. It’s great doing something different that I normally wouldn’t have the chance to do." – Reece Wardle
The Wardle family were first referred to the Trust in 2013, not long after Reece was diagnosed with Severe Aplastic Anaemia at the age of eight. Now 12, Reece recently underwent a bone marrow transplant. This has meant Reece, and mum Cathy, spending weeks in hospital, missing out on some of the things that many children take for granted.
Sebastian’s Action Trust offers support to the entire family, not just the child. Following Reece’s diagnosis, single mum of four Cathy gave up her job in order to care for him. This caused her to fall behind with rent arrears and the family faced possible eviction from their home. The family’s outreach worker accompanied Cathy to the rent office and helped negotiate an agreement. This support helped alleviate some of the pressure the family was under.
Reece has been able to enjoy a number of events and activity days organised by the Trust. He enjoys visiting the Hub and has attended sleepovers, music and cookery workshops, and a trip to Farnborough Air Show. These events enable Reece to have fun and make friends, but they also give Cathy an opportunity for a break.
The Trust has also put in place a buddy for Reece – a positive older male role model, which he has found helpful. “He did whatever I wanted to do. He played pool with me and helped me control my anger.”
Sebastian’s Action Trust also supports siblings, who have plenty of opportunities to get involved.
When pop star Ella Henderson visited our Slough Hub in 2015 as part of her involvement in Comic Relief, Reece’s older sister, Danielle, had the opportunity to meet her. Ella is the same age as Danielle and was moved by her family’s story and how the Trust helped plan the family budget and how Danielle had to temporarily leave college in order to earn money to help with the household’s cash flow. Despite Ella’s busy life touring and recording albums she still messages Danielle now and then to keep in touch, and they follow each other on social media.
Brother Josh has also been supported by the Trust with assistance completing applications for apprenticeships.
The Trust has been able to assist the Wardles with practical support and advice on financial matters. However, giving Reece the opportunity to simply have fun and enjoy a childhood, despite his condition, has been the most rewarding part of the Trust’s involvement with the family.
Cathy comments ‘The support we have had from the Trust has been fantastic. They are there for the whole family, not just the kids.’ Agreeing, with Cathy, Danielle describes the Trust as a ‘family support system’.