We'd like to say a big thank you to all the family and friends of Sam Waters for donating an incredible £15,000 to Julia’s House children’s hospice in his memory. 

Sam sadly died from a brain tumour, aged just 10 years old. Last month, he would have been celebrating his 30th birthday. His parents, Howard and Susi Waters, have marked the milestone by making the generous donation to Julia’s House. 

Sam Waters smiles with brother Matthew

The donation has been a welcome gift. We recently announced Julia's House is facing an anticipated £1m deficit this year and we've called on the government to better fund children’s hospices and end of life care for seriously ill children. Currently, Julia's House relies on donations and legacies to fund our free and bespoke care for local families. 

Howard, from Devizes, said, “Sam was a fun-loving boy. He loved life, loved his family and friends, and he had an absolute passion for trains. He had a beautiful singing voice as well, which his younger brother Matthew is lucky to also have.” 

When he was just three years old, Sam’s family discovered he had leukaemia. After two years of treatment and a bone marrow transplant, it seemed as though the former Wansdyke Primary School pupil would make a full recovery. But a few years later, when he was 10 years old, Sam sadly developed a brain tumour. 

“Unfortunately, because Sam had already had such aggressive treatment for his leukaemia, there was nothing that could be done to help him,” said Howard. “He died on 10 September 2004. 

“We decided to set up a little fund in his name – the Sam Waters Memorial Fund – to help with child-related good causes, where there wasn’t government funding available. For example, medical equipment or a day out for a child with very complex care needs.”  

Howard said, “Since Sam died, friends and family have been very kind donating money. We've raised £33,000 in total, which has helped lots of local families and groups.

“This year, with Sam’s 30th birthday milestone, we decided to make a bigger donation with most of the remaining funds. We really wanted the donations to be used in a meaningful way for local families and Julia’s House was a very logical and obvious choice of charity for us,” said Howard.  

Howard and Susi Waters present cheque to Julia's House fundraiser Karen Harrison

Julia’s House provides critical and compassionate care to local families who are looking after a very seriously ill child, both in families’ homes across the county and at our hospices in Devizes and Corfe Mullen.

Nationally, children’s hospices are facing a current funding crisis and Julia’s House is no exception. 

Despite our outstanding care rating, Julia’s House is one of the lowest funded children's hospices in England. We currently receive just eight per cent government funding, meaning we must rely on the generosity of the local community, fundraising efforts and revenue from our shops to raise the remaining 92 per cent of funds needed to provide our life-changing care. 

Howard said, “Children’s hospices and the care they provide for families are so important. It’s essential, not just for that individual but also for their families, and the government should be treating it as something they fund more generously.” 

Sam Waters smiles with brother Matthew who is in a swing

Julia’s House Wiltshire Lead Nurse, Lisa Bradbury, said, “We’re so grateful to Sam’s parents and to his family and friends for making their generous donation to Julia’s House, and we were delighted to welcome Howard and Susi to the hospice recently.  

“£15,000 will significantly contribute towards the Wiltshire hospice costs in providing vital respite care that seriously ill children and their families need to give them support, independence and dignity at every stage of their journey.” 

Lisa added, “Demand for our critical care continues to grow across Wiltshire, as more children are living for longer with increasingly complex care needs. With such limited government support, every donation made to Julia’s House makes a life-changing difference – without the support of the public, our essential service for local families would not exist.”  

If you would like to find out more about the Sam Waters Memorial Fund, please get in touch with Howard Waters at howard.waters@btinternet.com.