Jo’s Last Wish for her sons honoured

A fundraising day at Edward Worlledge Primary School to support the Jo's Last Wish appeal. Pupils ta

A fundraising day at Edward Worlledge Primary School to support the Jo's Last Wish appeal. Pupils taking part in a balloon release.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

A mass of purple balloons was released into the sky as pupils declared their support for a fundraising day in aid of two of their chums.

And hours later they came together to celebrate the news that their £25,000 target had been reached.

As each of the 350 balloons set off spreading 'nice wishes' and 'happy thoughts' on tags attached to them, children at Edward Worlledge Primary School knew they nearly had enough money to send brothers Kallum Lynch, aged nine, and seven-year-old Jack Rayner to live with their aunt in America.

For the last few weeks the school has been the engine-room of an appeal to help them start a new life after their mother Jo Lynch died, aged 29.

She believed her young sons would be cared for by her sister Sam in Los Angeles, but the unforseen costs of emigration and adoption put her dying wish at risk and raised fears that the boys could be put into care.

This week, however, the school announced it had exceeded its target and that the fund, Jo's Last Wish, was still growing.

Co-ordinator Linda Dickeson said they were able to confirm the good news at a bingo night on Friday and that since then hundreds more pounds had been added.

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'We have reached the £25,000,' she said. 'We have around £16,400 on the crowdfunder site and more than £5,000 has come direct to the school in donations.

'They have come from just anywhere and most are anonymous but some have sent little cards and where possible we have given a personal response.'

She said any money not spent on legal fees and costs to do with the adoption would be put into a trust fund for the boys.

Because Kallum has already battled the same cancer that took his mum and faces surgery on his back, it was likely that his insurance premiums would be high and that there would be more medical bills in the future.

Collection pots placed in local businesses were being quickly filled and re-filled, but would not now be sent out again.

A non-school uniform day on Friday, coffee morning and raffle had boosted the appeal by £560. The bingo night in the evening saw some 200 people get in line for a game raising £1263.

Meanwhile a variety show being staged at Gorleston Pavilion on April 22 will see quality acts like the Testostatones and multi-instrumentalist Rachel King take to the stage, bringing the curtain down on the appeal.

Mrs Dickeson said the teachers had felt helpless when the boys' mother died in July, but in leading the appeal had found a way of making a difference to their lives.

The crowdfunding page remains open until the middle of April.

Currently the boys are living with their grandfather Patrick Lynch, whose ill health means they need to find a permanent home. Mr Lynch's wife and four-year-old daughter died of the same disease. He is said to be 'overwhelmed' by the generosity of people whose donations have cleared the way for the boys to start again and make new memories.

For tickets to the variety show call Gorleston Pavilion via 01493 662832.

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