20 April 2016

Star Wars events raise thousands for little Neave

The force is with one of our Blackburn customers who is raising thousands of pounds for his disabled four year old daughter, Neave.

Please note: We no longer own Glenfield Park Business Centre, but still wish to praise the fundraising efforts of former customer Jan Evans. 

The force is with one of our customers who is raising thousands of pounds for his disabled daughter.

Jan Evans wants to adapt his home in Great Harwood, near Blackburn, to make it more suitable for his four-year-old daughter Neave, who has quadriplegic spastic cerebral palsy. The work will cost up to £90,000 so Jan has been holding Star Wars-themed events at Tesco stores in East Lancashire to get closer to the total.

Jan, who has a mailbox at Glenfield Park Business Centre, in Blackburn, says: “Neave can’t do anything for herself. She can’t walk, talk, crawl or sit so we have to carry her up the stairs in our home, which is dangerous.”

Jan and his wife Maxine want to build ground floor accommodation for Neave, which will include an adapted bedroom with a hoist and sensory equipment and a wet room with a specialist bath.

Film fan fundraisers

A dedicated Star Wars fan, Jan was inspired to hold themed fundraising events after taking Neave to see people dressed as characters from the films. The 99th Garrison, a group of volunteers who dress up as Star Wars characters for charity, offered to help and the events for Neave’s Fund have so far raised £12,000.

He explains: “I am a massive Star Wars geek. When Neave first came home from hospital, she wouldn’t sleep for more than a few minutes at a time.

“During the week Maxine would stay up with her, but at weekends I would stay up all night watching the entire catalogue of Star Wars films with her. Neave loves it and her face lights up when the music comes on.

“She has her own collection of Star Wars figures and she roars with laughter when her one-year-old sister Frankie plays with her figures.”

Neave attends all the Star Wars events, which are held at different Tesco stores in the East Lancashire area, and people have started travelling from far and wide to come along to the fundraisers and get their photographs taken with characters from the films.

“People are coming along to them every month and we have different characters at each event,” Jan says.

“When people meet Neave, they fall in love with her and they want to meet her again. She is a tough little cookie with a beautiful smile.”

Business gives family flexibility

As well as becoming involved in fundraising, Neave’s disability saw Jan start his own business – Jets GPS Tracking Ltd, which sells GPS tracking tools for vehicles.

He says: “When it became clear how disabled Neave was, my wife became her full-time carer and I gave up my job and started out on my own.”

Jan now has a mailbox at Glenfield Park Business Centre and regularly uses the meeting room facilities.

“It gives me the flexibility I need to support my family in every way - physically, emotionally and financially,” Jan tells us.

The next fundraising event is at Haslingden Tesco on April 30 followed by events in Burnley on May 21 and Clitheroe on June 25. People can also make donations online via the Neave’s Fund page and follow the family on Twitter @NeavesFund.

Any businesses who can donate prizes to be raffled at the Star Wars events should email [email protected].