Warrington charity that supports children with life-limiting illnesses wins award

JUMP founder Christine Bentham and Vicky Pattinson <i>(Image: The Sun)</i>
JUMP founder Christine Bentham and Vicky Pattinson (Image: The Sun)

A WARRINGTON charity that provides photography and videos for families of children with life-limiting illnesses has received a prestigious award.

JUMP, founded by Christine Bentham following the death of her three-year-old grandson Jacob Hawthorn, was named Charity of the Year at The Sun’s Who Cares Wins Awards 2022.

Hosted by Davina McCall and attended by Prime Minster Rishi Sunak, the awards, in partnership with NHS Charities Together, honour those across the health and social care sector who go above and beyond for their patients.

Some of Britain’s best-loved charity campaigners and famous faces were on hand to present the awards including Anthony Joshua, Martin and Roman Kemp, Ellie Simmonds, Harry Redknapp, and Mel B.

The night also included video messages from David Beckham, Lewis Hamilton and Olena Zelenska.

JUMP’s award was presented by Jamie Oliver.

Christine launch the charity after her grandson died from congenital muscular dystrophy.

When he was diagnosed at 18 months, a friend recommended taking lots of photographs – which inspired JUMP.

The charity, which stands for Jacob’s Unique Memory Pot and is named after his favourite Girls Aloud song, provides professional photography and video services for families of children with life-limiting illnesses in order to create memories.

JUMP also runs special activity days allowing families to get together.

Christine, 66, said: "I will never forget the scene of my daughter with Jacob in her arms after he passed away.

“A friend printed off all the recent pictures we had taken on a trip to Disneyland Paris, and it triggered a thought in me.

“I decided I needed to do something for other families, to help them make and cherish memories with their poorly children, so I set up JUMP, which stands for Jacob's Unique Memory Pot, and his favourite song was Jump by Girls Aloud.”

Warrington Guardian: Prime Minster Rishi Sunak attended the awards
Warrington Guardian: Prime Minster Rishi Sunak attended the awards

Prime Minster Rishi Sunak attended the awards (Image: The Sun)

The charity has been nominated by Donna Edge, 49, from Nantwich in Cheshire, whose eight-year-old daughter Mary has the rare life limiting disorder, Megalencephaly-polymicrogyria-polydactyly-hydrocephalus (MPPH), which causes life-threatening seizures.

Mary also has hydrocephalus, a build-up of fluid in the brain, and Autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Presenting the award, Jamie Oliver said: “Love and kindness comes in all different shapes and forms and at people’s darkest hour where the kids and their parents are at their most vulnerable, these little olive branches, these little bits of love, these little bits of care, these guys come and capture those precious moments.

“Maybe a lot of people wouldn’t think about that.

“It's amazing what she’s done over the past 18 years.”

Christine added: “I feel so incredibly proud that we have been recognised.

“It’s been said so many times over the years that what we do is lovely and precious but nobody really recognises the bereavement support that we give to families - because the gift we give to them is lifelong.

“Darcy knows her brother really well even though she never met him because of the memories we captured with him. I’ve always said Jacob is the true founder of the charity.”

Christine, who was joined on stage by Jacob’s mum Christie Bower, 44, and his sister Darcy, 12, held up a photo of her grandson after she accepted the Best Charity award from TV Chef Jamie Oliver.

Christie said how she was proud of her son’s legacy.

“One in 50,000 babies are born with congenital muscular dystrophy,” she said.

“Jacob was my winning Lottery ticket.”