Firefighters' car wash event raised much-needed funds for toddler's cancer treatment
PUBLISHED: 07:58 05 December 2019 | UPDATED: 07:58 05 December 2019
More than £1,000 was raised by firefighters in Newport to support a toddler battling a rare form of cancer.
A charity car wash held at Newport Fire Station on November 16 raised £1,322 for Archie Wilks, who has neuroblastoma - a rare form of child cancer.
The event was attended by all Newport firefighters and a Saffron Walden firefighter, all of whom washed cars.
Archie's dad Simon, who lives in Newport with twins Archie and Henry, and wife Harriet, talked about their lives since Archie's stage four cancer diagnosis in January 2019.
He said: "I showed Archie a picture from before, when he had hair, and he said: 'Oh, there are two Henrys!' He didn't recognise himself."
Lorraine Melton, event organiser and one of the firefighters who washed cars, said: "Some firefighters' wives and children did a sterling job of selling homemade cakes and some teas and coffees.
"We all made and brought cakes but one of the firefighters' wives, Amanda North, baked a mountain of cakes and biscuits."
Lorraine said there was a 'good system of washing and rinsing quickly' in place on the day and that the wash proved so popular there were even queues.
Archie attended the event with his dad, twin brother, grandmother and a few supporters.
"He is only three. I am not sure he would grasp the concept of us raising money for him," said Lorraine.
"He enjoyed getting into the driving seat of the fire engine and looking around."
She added that what stood out for her about the event was the camaraderie it brought and seeing a lot of locals bringing their cars in.
"A massive 'thank you' to all the fabulous people who came and donated," Lorraine added. "No donation is too small. Every single little bit helps."
The money raised will go towards the £200,000 Archie needs for a year's treatment in America, unavailable on the NHS.
To donate for Archie's fundraising effort, go to his JustGiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/archiesjourney. You can also follow his journey on the Facebook page Archie's Journey: https://www.facebook.com/archiewilks16.