When Val Penning decided to put on a cake stall to raise funds for Children’s Liver Disease Foundation (CLDF), she knew she could count on the support of her friends. Even she was amazed, however, to discover that her stall on March 7 in Saffron Walden raised £1011 for a cause which is very close to her heart.
“My gorgeous grandson Hudson was born with the rare condition, Alagille syndrome which affects his heart, kidneys, liver, eyes and spine. Whilst his heart and kidneys are currently functioning well, his liver is not and we don’t yet know whether he will require a liver transplant,” explains Val who lives in Ashdon.
“My son Tom and his wife Chelsea have been receiving information and support from Children’s Liver Disease Foundation and as a family we wanted to show our support by joining in with Big Yellow Friday, the charity’s national awareness and fundraising day.
“I decided on a cake stall and had wonderful support from friends, family, clients of Hair By Us Ltd where I work, not to mention my upholstery class and Clare Thomson at my gym. So many people helped me with their delicious baking that, when we set up our stall under the Boots canopy, I was concerned we had too many cakes, but I needn’t have worried. The support we had from local people was just amazing and I can’t believe we raised over a thousand pounds. A humongous thank you everyone from the bottom of my heart!”
Val is not the only family member raising funds for CLDF. Her son, Tom and his father in law Ian did the Cambridge Half Marathon; her niece Becki and partner Dan led a group on a 12- hour mountain challenge in the Lake District and her sister Vivienne is organising a huge raffle with over 40 prizes.
“Little Hudson has challenges ahead of him and we all want to do what we can to support him and the many other children who live with liver disease,” said Val. “The people of Saffron Walden have proved what big hearts they have, and their support means a lot to our family.”
You can still support the family’s fundraising by purchasing raffle tickets from Hair By Us in Saffron Walden. The draw will take place on March 31.
Alison Taylor, Chief Executive of Children’s Liver Disease Foundation commented: “CLDF is the only UK charity dedicated to fighting all childhood liver diseases, by providing information and emotional support, funds for research and a voice for all those affected. In order to do this however, we rely on voluntary donations, so we are delighted and very grateful to hear of the amazing fundraising undertaken by Val and her family. The money raised will make a real difference to the many families throughout the UK affected by childhood liver disease. “