A teenager from Borrowash is two weeks into a month-long camp-out in his garden and has raised almost three times his original fundraising target for local hospice Treetops.

William Lacey, 15, should have been studying for his GCSEs at West Park School but decided to put his new free time to good use and raise money for the charity.

Treetops Hospice Care provides nursing care and emotional support for adults with life-limiting conditions, their carers and families.

I’d happily camp for the whole year if I could!

William explained more:

“I was in Year 11 at West Park but I’m actually ok with school and exams being cancelled as I can spend time raising money for charity instead of studying.

“I’ve enjoyed camping so far – it’s been warm at night but cold in the mornings. I’d happily camp for the whole year if I could!”

Thank you to everyone for donating

William has reached almost three times more than his original £500 fundraising target on JustGiving:

“I chose Treetops with my mum as we were aware they needed help fundraising and it’s a good charity to help. I think it’s really good how much we have raised already – over my original target – and would like to say cheers and thank you to everyone for donating.

“In my spare time I enjoy playing computer games, going to Explorers and Air cadets. Later this year, after finishing school, I’d like to get an apprenticeship with the RAF or do an engineering course.”

A strong character with the kindest heart

William and Sophie Lacey camp out for Treetops William’s mum, Liz, 41, is incredibly proud of her son:

“William was born 8 weeks early so jumped himself forward a school year as he should have been born in October instead of August.

“He’s always been a strong character with the kindest heart. He always puts others before himself and although like any teenager he can be grumpy and antisocial, he is also loving, kind and thoughtful.

“We are very proud of him and the way he has taken all these changes in his stride and supported his younger sister, Sophie, in camping with him, even though he’d rather be camping alone!

The dog and even the cat have taken to camping with them

“The dog and even the cat have taken to camping with them. This morning I took William a cup of coffee out to the tent and when I unzipped the door, the cat and dog came striding out which made me chuckle.

“We’ve had family members who have had cancer treatment in the past and really appreciate the amazing work that Treetops does and so wanted to say thank you.

“I’m a Police Officer with Nottinghamshire Police and my husband, Mat, is a Police Officer in Derbyshire, so we are both still working during lockdown but enjoying family time at home on our days off.”

Donations can still be made to William’s JustGiving fundraising page.

We want to wish him the best of luck

Lorraine Ray, Treetops events fundraising lead, dropped Easter Eggs off for William and his sister last week:

“We are incredibly grateful to William for thinking of Treetops and supporting us during these challenging times.

“So far, he has raised enough money for twelve more nights of palliative care by our Hospice at Home team – our forty seven devoted nurses who are still continuing to care for terminally ill patients at the end of life in their own homes.

“We want to wish him the best of luck with the rest of the month and say a big thank you from all the Treetops community!”

Treetops is doing all it can to continue to support those in most need. However the charity predicts a huge £1.4m loss in income in the coming months, due to the temporary closure of all their charity shops, and postponement or cancellation of many fundraising events.

The hospice has launched an appeal asking for donations to ensure they can continue to provide its vital Hospice at Home Service throughout the pandemic. Donations can be made online here.