Dressed all in red and carrying a sack full of presents, eight-year-old Harry Byrne brought lots of joy and laughter to children at our Devizes hospice this week!
Super sibling Harry, from Larkhill in Wiltshire, is walking 2km every day during November and December to raise vital funds for the children’s hospices who have supported his family – Julia’s House and Naomi House & Jacksplace.
Watch Harry's visit on The Russell Howard Hour below!
The St Michael’s C of E Primary School pupil has already raised nearly £2,000 to help buy presents and create lasting memories for the seriously ill children and families that we look after.
Harry took on his 'Christmas Wish' challenge in memory of his little brother Reuben. The two-year-old was cared for by Julia's House due to his life-limiting condition and he sadly died just five days before Christmas last year.
In 2021, Harry's Christmas letter for Reuben read, ‘Dear Santa, for my little brother Reuben, I would like him to have the best year and all of his friends at the hospice please. I can help you ❤ Harry B’
After his little brother passed away, Harry decided he wanted to continue fundraising and fulfil his Christmas Wish to help other children like Reuben, as well as their sisters and brothers.
And Harry’s kind-hearted efforts have not gone unnoticed – a film crew from Sky’s The Russell Howard Hour came along to capture Harry's jolly visit to the Julia’s House hospice too.
After dressing up as Father Christmas to surprise the children, Harry handed out gifts and home-baked goodies to Ellie Humphries and sisters Isla and Darcey Goodenough.
“All the children had a lovely time getting in the festive spirit and there was a lot of laughter seeing Harry dressed-up,” said Julia’s House Team Nurse Molly Douglas. “The children loved their gifts and it wasn’t long before they were cuddling up and reading stories together by our Christmas tree.”
Molly added, “Harry has been a phenomenal fundraiser for us over the past couple of years. We’re almost entirely reliant on donations to fund our lifeline of care, so we’re incredibly grateful to him and his family and friends for all their support. Harry is such a kind and caring boy and he was a wonderful young carer to his brother Reuben as well.”
During the pandemic, Harry took on lots of fundraising challenges with his little brother ‘Reu Reu’ by his side, including a ‘hospice to hospice hike’ and an incredible ‘race around the moon’ distance challenge. He’s now raised more than £40k in total for the charities that have helped his family.
If you would like to donate to Harry’s Christmas challenge, please visit his Just Giving page.