Unlock a Life for Lockey was set up in January 2014 by the family and friends of seven-year-old Laughlin Whiteley, known as Lockey.
It was while receiving his own treatment for secondary cancer AML Leukaemia at Great Ormond Street Hospital, that Laughlin came up with the idea of creating special boxes full of fun activities and craft materials for other children undergoing similar treatment at GOSH.
It was Laughlin’s love of creating art and lego that inspired him to want to help other children in similar situations, and so, Unlock a Life for Lockey was born.
Of course, there were also other agendas to concern the team, such as working on improving stem cell donor registers and eventually the birth of a beach hut getaway for families with children undergoing treatment, but the true therapy of art remained and still is a constant for the charity today.
Allowing children and their carers the chance to play and be creative and to focus on something other than the treatment they are facing, is one of the core aims of Unlock a Life for Lockey and it was Laughlin’s wish to share this with other children.
Laughlin and his Daddy would spend hours on the transplant ward during his time in hospital and nearly two months in isolation meant finding things to do! Laughlin and John would spend hours creating art pieces made out of anything they could get their hands on….especially cardboard urine containers!
Their creations and art began to gather along the window guarding Laughlin’s domain....Sunflowers, a fort for a Roman Warrior, a Moomin home, the list was endless! They were the envy of the ward with a room full to the brim with art and lego. Of course, there were times Laughlin was so poorly he could hardly do anything, yet Daddy would still be there finishing projects off for him. It gave them a sense of togetherness and purpose and the art that is left for his parents today are their treasures.
John and Andrea hope that Laughlin’s legacy of creativity will bring joy and light to other children going through treatment, as this was Laughlin’s dream and ultimately the reason he was honoured with a ‘Most Inspirational Child’ award at the 2014 WellChild Awards.
Team Laughlin vowed to carry on with the charity he inspired and continue to support the families of children with cancer and by providing Unlock boxes to youngsters.
We are now also able to offer them a day out on the Essex coast using our beach hut, The Happy Shack. You can learn more about what we do here.
Please feel free to take a good look around the site, and if you have any questions, please feel free to ask them via our contact page or via our Facebook page.
You can read about Laughlin's personal journey here...