A Northamptonshire family have set up a unique scheme in memory of their son, Harry, to support young adults with special needs – and Harry’s dad will hike across Wales as part of the official launch.
Harry’s Fund has been launched in memory of Harry Chadwick – an exceptional young man, whose autism never held him back from loving life, loving people and having ambition.
Harry, from Spratton, was only 19 when he died in March 2018 after a four-year battle with cancer. Had he lived, he would have left Isebrook School in Kettering and joined Teamwork Trust – a Northamptonshire charity which supports adults with mental health needs, learning and physical disabilities – where he would have been part of a community with purpose, structure, new friendships, work experience. Something rarely available for people with additional needs.
This is why Harry’s mum, dad and sister have set up Harry’s Fund – to offer grants, bursaries and loans to young adults with special needs who are on the cusp of leaving school.
Harry’s dad, David Chadwick, said: “We miss Harry every day and want to make sure he is not forgotten. Every time we step inside Teamwork Trust we feel a piece of him is there. We want his peers to have the opportunity to be in a place we know he would have loved, so that they can be better prepared for their future and achieve what Harry never got the chance to do.”
Teamwork’s strategic director, John Bruce explains the bursary scheme. “Harry’s Fund will have a positive impact on the lives of young adults with a disability or mental health issues in Northamptonshire. Individuals who are moving into adulthood and considering Teamwork often do not have the statutory or private funding in place for them to start as soon as they would like. Harry’s Fund will help bridge the funding gap for them to access our services quicker.”
Keen to do something extraordinary in memory of his son, and to help launch the fund - David will complete Harry’s Hike July 14-19 and trek 177-miles along historic Offa’s Dyke footpath in just six days – half the time recommended by the National Trails Association.
The terrain will take David over many mountains which, when added together, are greater than the height of Mount Everest.
But he won’t be hiking alone - he will be accompanied by Harry’s beloved Airedale Terrier dog, Nelly.
Follow David’s journey on Facebook – HarryChadwickFund. To donate, visit https://www.teamworktrust.co.uk/harrysfund