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National children’s charity Tree of Hope has created a brand-new role of a Remote Family Support Officer, to better support the families of sick and disabled children in the north of England.

Tree of Hope helps families fundraise for children with healthcare needs all over the country and provides charity status to benefit from gift aid, corporate support whilst also providing donor reassurance.

With a head office in the south of England, the charity hopes that having a more locally-based support officer will help them better serve families with disabled children in the area, and bring their service to more families and children who otherwise cannot get what they need via the NHS.

Katie Wotawa, 21, who grew up in Sheffield, took the Manchester-based post in February 2022, after studying Education and Psychology at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Katie said: ‘I’m really enjoying the role – it’s been great to meet some of the families Tree of Hope support with fundraising, as well as suppliers of equipment and therapies who often refer families on to us.’

‘We are always happy to discuss how we can help and support families with their fundraising for children who need therapies or equipment which aren’t available on the NHS. It doesn’t matter where in the country you are. The best way to get in touch is by calling the families team on 01892 535525.’

Darren Bailey, 50, from Irlam, fundraises on a near-constant basis to help pay for his eleven-year-old daughter Freya’s specialised physiotherapy, as well as running his annual ‘Scooter Grannies’ event. This sees he and a group of his friends completing a 30 or so mile race on children’s scooters dressed as grannies.

Darren said: ‘Katie has been helping me to get a street collection licence for this year’s event which will take place on June 25th, which has been invaluable when I have so much on my plate already. Tree of Hope have helped me with fundraising for several years now and it’s great to know that there’s now someone local who can give me a hand when needed.’

Georgina Lowry, head of marketing and family support at Tree of Hope said: ‘We’re delighted to have Katie onboard to help us deliver more help and support to families based in the north and is already proving valuable to families registered with us in helping their fundraising activities and spreading the word of Tree of Hope to agencies and suppliers. We very much hope this will give us a greater presence in regions so we can increase our support to more families and their children, so they can get the help and the support they really need.’

To donate to Freya’s fund, visit

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