6:00 AM August 5, 2022
The mother of Isla Caton has made the “extremely hard” decision to donate her toys to charities as she said it is “what Isla would have liked”.
On January 28, around 800 people gathered at South Essex Crematorium to pay their respects to Isla, who died of cancer three days earlier.
The seven-year-old from Hornchurch had courageously battled with neuroblastoma for years and was widely followed on social media, especially by West Ham United fans.
Isla’s mum, Nicola Caton, said she has recently found the strength to donate three van loads of toys to Haven House Hospice in Romford and Richard House Children’s Hospice and Lola’s Homeless in Newham.
The donated toys have been placed proudly in Haven House’s Sparkle Walk window display, which promotes its September 2 fundraiser.
Alongside these donations, Nicola will also give Isla’s two garden houses, which cost more than £8,000 in total, to the hospice.
She said: “It’s really extremely hard and I have kept a lot of stuff of Isla’s, like her favourite things, but most of it was new and I just thought, as much as it was very hard, and it was six months last week since she passed away, I felt it was the right thing to do and what Isla would have liked.”
Nicola said Haven House is close to her family’s heart as they paid for Isla to have weekly music lessons.
She said it was one of Isla’s favourite things to do, and her music teacher performed at the funeral.
The hospice also provided the Catons with a cold cot so they could keep their daughter at home after she had passed rather than going through an undertaker.
She said: “They’re very close to my heart and I love being able to support them.
“It provides the opportunity to get toys that were expensive but will now be in reach of everybody.
“Isla lives on and her legacy goes on.”
Nicola added: “Isla did a lot in her short life and it’s great that I can carry on doing that for other children.”
A Haven House spokesperson said: “It’s because of our wonderful supporters and families that we can make such a difference and continue to support families who are going through the toughest of times.
“It’s a huge honour to care for families and be there for them when there is nowhere else to turn.”
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