Harlow car manager drives fund-raising effort

Charity / Wed 13th Feb 2019 am28 08:17am


A TOP car executive from Harlow has pioneered a fundraising effort to raise funds for a four year-old girl with a rare form of cancer.

General manager Jason Sayers, from Alan Day VW, told colleagues about Isla Canton’s condition at a staff meeting and they all offered to help.

Car sales executive Freddie Howard then proved he was a cut above the rest – because he has had his hair shorn, raising £350 for the charity.

Cheered on by colleagues, who donated along with customers, the fundraiser helped highlight Isla’s rare condition called neuroblastoma, which only effects about 100 children in the country every year.

Delighted Jason Sayers said: “We were talking about this in our Friday night meeting and Freddie, one of our employees, his dad passed away from cancer as did my dad, so the issue is very dear to our hearts.

“I think everyone knows somebody affected by cancer – but its normally someone a bit older, you don’t really associate cancer with children.

“So when we heard about Isla, everyone really wanted to help out. Freddie volunteered to get his hair cut and a local hairdresser come down to the showroom completely free-of-charge.

“All staff have given a little bit of money towards it, helping to raise a few hundred pounds which is nice! Everyone has been so taken aback by this little girl and how nice and friendly she is. Even some of the customers have donated today which is really good!!”

Freddie, from Barnet, North London, who had his hair cut in the Alan Day VW New Southgate showroom said: “I’m going to be having my head shaved to help raise money for Isla, who is a little unwell at the moment, so we’re doing what we can to help.”

More than £400,000 has already been raised by well wishers and her cause has been adopted by Premiership football club West Ham United and their players and fans.

Isla’s uncle Baz Cox collected the donation from Jason at West Ham’s last home game.

Jason Sayers from Harlow, added: “Isla has a Facebook page and a Twitter account.

“If you feel like you would like to donate, I am sure they will be grateful for any donations.

“I found out about Isla because I’m a season ticket holder at West Ham. A gentleman called Baz has been collecting money for her at home and away games for the past 8 months.

“It’s just grown so quickly, as they say – ‘cancer has no colours’ – and football supporters have come together and given money to this little girl to try and help. It’s brought communities from different clubs together and raised a lot of money so far.

“It’s very commendable what they’re doing. Every time I go to a game I throw some money in the bucket, just a couple of quid every home game – but over the course of a season it adds up -every pound helps as they say.”

Paul Tanner, managing director of Alan Day Volkswagen said:”I’m very proud of my team for supporting this great cause. It’s always nice to see the Alan Day family come together to help someone in need.”


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