Community scheme to help cash-strapped Melton families is set up in Leanne’s name

Leanne McCann, who died in 2009 after suffering from cancer, with mum Caroline EMN-150623-112007001
Leanne McCann, who died in 2009 after suffering from cancer, with mum Caroline EMN-150623-112007001
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A fundraising scheme to help families suffering from difficult circumstances is to be started up in the name of tragic Melton teenager Leanne McCann, who died six years ago from small cell ovarian cancer.

The Leanne McCann Community Pot was suggested at a recent meeting at the town’s Samworth Centre which was called to set up a new bartering network for borough residents suffering money issues.

The idea for the community pot came from regulars at The Grapes pub, in Melton, raising money earlier this year in Leanne’s memory with a ladies’ night in aid of the cancer unit at Leicester Royal Infirmary (LRI) and The Little Princess Trust, which provides wigs for children who lose their hair during cancer treatment.

One night’s takings (£475) from takeaway restaurant Ocean Blue were also donated to the unit this year as a tribute to Leanne.

And now fundraisers throughout the town want to formalise a scheme in her name and start to build up money into the new fundraising pot.

Melton Timebanking, the new bartering network, will administer the community pot, which will begin donating cash to help Melton families in January.

Co-ordinator Amanda Stevenson said: “There will be an application process, a panel that decides the decisions and a process that will try and make sure all money raised will go to those who have tried all avenues and been unsuccessful in their need. “We’ve decided that 10 per cent of all monies raised will go to the Teenage Cancer Trust Ward at the LRI in memory of Leanne McCann.”

She added: “The community of The Grapes pub have raised some money in the last few months that has helped several families in severe distress.

“Posters have gone up in the pub and four charity tins given out and already six more places in Melton want a tin to help raise money.”

Leanne’s mum, Caroline, said: “It’s a lovely idea. We’re trying to build the pot up at the moment and then just keep it going. We’ve advertised on Facebook for donations and we’ll be doing car boots, bingo nights, raffles and other events.

“Leanne was a people person and she would probably know a lot of the people who are in financial dire straits and in need of help.”

l Also at the meeting seven people signed up for the Melton Timebanking scheme and several others are interested in joining - they will do jobs for each other without having to pay for them.

The project was set up to help borough residents who have money issues after it was announced that 124 people had visited the town’s citizens advice bureau in the last year with debt problems and the National Debtline had received hundreds of calls from residents.

More events are planned later in the year to promote the bartering network and anyone interested in joining can call Amanda on 07775 942046 or Lynne on (0116) 305 7558 or email Lynne.Brydon-Graham@leics.gov.uk with the first transactions set to take place this summer.

Anyone interested in helping to raise funds for the Leanne McCann Community Pot can also get in touch with Amanda on 07775 942046.