Share you special memories for Welwyn Hatfield charity Willow’s 21st birthday

PUBLISHED: 12:24 30 July 2020 | UPDATED: 12:24 30 July 2020

Willow co-founders Megs and Bob Wilson. Picture: supplied by Willow

Willow co-founders Megs and Bob Wilson. Picture: supplied by Willow

Willow

A Welwyn Hatfield-based charity is calling on county residents to share their precious memories for its 21st birthday.

Former Arsenal goalkeeper Bob Wilson with his daughter Anna Carey, who lost her battle with cancer aged 31. Photo courtesy of Willow.Former Arsenal goalkeeper Bob Wilson with his daughter Anna Carey, who lost her battle with cancer aged 31. Photo courtesy of Willow.

Willow, co-founded by Bob and Megs Wilson, turns 21 on August 25.

To mark the occasion, the charity is calling on supporters and beneficiaries, past and present, to share their memories of Special Days and take on its Big 21 Challenge.

The charity was founded in the summer of 1999 by Arsenal legend Bob Wilson and his wife Megs in memory of their daughter Anna, and was made possible by a hugely successful £100,000 fundraising appeal by the Welwyn Hatfield Times.

While there were many charities creating precious memories for children and young people, Bob and Megs found that there was no organisation that worked with young adults.

With the amazing support of WHT readers, they set up Willow to create Special Days for young adults aged 16 to 40 and their loved ones.

Twenty-one years later, they have created over 17,000 Special Days, ranging from weekends away at family resorts to the chance to meet soccer superstars at big games and fancy dinners at London resorts.

Now Willow organisers are calling out to people who may have been in touch with the charity in its early years to share their memories.

“Willow is now a national charity, creating Special Days all over the UK,” said communications manager Stephen Troussé.

“But when we started we were very much a local charity, working with people in and around Hertfordshire.

“Many of the people who had Special Days in our early years, 2000, 2001 and 2002, are sadly no longer with us.

“But we’d love to hear from families or friends of people who were in touch with Willow back then.

“Willow is all about creating lasting, precious memories in the toughest times, and we’d love to share as many of these as possible as we approach our 21st birthday on August 25.”

As part of its birthday celebrations, Willow has also launched its #Big21 Challenge, calling on supporters to devise a 21-themed fundraising challenge to complete in the month of August.

To share your memories, or to sign up for the #Big21 Challenge, visit willowfoundation.org.uk/big21

After previously being based in Old Hatfield, Willow is now at Gate House, Fretherne Road, Welwyn Garden City.


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