EACH Shop in Ely will be opened by Liam, 12, of Soham who raised £22,500 for the charity in memory of his twin sister Lucy who died in April

New EACH shop in Ely is to be opened by Liam Johnson, 12, from Soham, pictured with his sister Lucy

New EACH shop in Ely is to be opened by Liam Johnson, 12, from Soham, pictured with his sister Lucy who died in April. Liam has raised £22,500 in her memory for the charity. - Credit: Archant

A schoolboy, who organised two football matches for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH), netting £22,509, is to cut the ribbon at the charity’s new shop in Ely.

Liam Johnson, 12, of Soham, organised the games in memory of his twin sister, Lucy, who died in April. Liam and Lucy, as well as their older sister, Katie, 14, and parents, Sharon and Andrew, all received care and support from EACH.

Lucy lived with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, a rare and severe type of epilepsy, had global developmental delay and was registered blind. She benefited from hydrotherapy, music therapy and short breaks at EACH’s Milton hospice, and that is where she spent her final days, surrounded by family and friends.

Football-mad Liam wanted to raise money for the hospice to say thank you for the care they provided when it was needed most.

“After me and Lucy were born she became ill with epilepsy and the older she got the more ill she became until she passed away,” said Liam.

“So I thought it would be a good thing to raise money for Milton Hospice as they did a wonderful job of taking care of my sister and supporting me, mum, dad and my other sister Katie.”

With help from parents Andrew and Sharon, Liam they organised charity football matches, a fun day and an evening party at Soham Town Rangers’ ground.

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Liam’s football matches followed the efforts of a 32-strong group of family and friends who ran EACH’s Inflatable Colour Dash, in June at Huntingdon Racecourse, to raise over £7,000.

EACH cares for children and young people with life-threatening conditions, and supports their families, across Cambridgeshire and the rest of the region. It costs more than £16,000 a day to run the service.

In the past financial year, EACH shops generated an impressive profit of over £900,000. The charity’s newest outlet in Ely will offer the same range of high-quality goods customers of its existing shops are used to, focusing specifically on ladies wear.

Gillian Platell, shop manager, said: “We believe we’ve got a great offering for shoppers and are excited to become part of the Ely community. It will be an honour to have Liam joining us for the ribbon-cutting, too.

“Anyone who’s been to an EACH shop before will have experienced a great range of stock, welcoming staff and volunteers – and it will be the same here! Please come along to celebrate our opening and see what bargains you can pick out.”

The shop, in High Street, will open on October 4 and trade seven days a week.

EACH opened five shops across the region last year, including one in Cherry Hinton. As well as a shop in Soham, the charity has also opened four in Norfolk, one in Suffolk and one in Essex so far in 2018. This latest one in Ely will be its 34th overall.

Anyone interested in more information on volunteering at the Ely shop should email volunteerservices@each.org.uk or call Sarah on 07540 335680.