THE son of a former darts player is calling for support as he works to set up a charity to benefit people afflicted by cancer.

The Ray Barclay Foundation has been set up in the name of Michael Barclay’s father from Redcar, who sadly passed away following a skin cancer diagnosis.

Ray Barclay was a local darts player and a big part of the community in Eston and Redcar.

Now his son Michael who works at ICL Boulby mine as a technical process technician has founded  The Ray Barclay Foundation to help both staff and patients in James Cook University Hospital.

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The Northern Echo: Left: Ray Barclay with his son Michael 
Right: The Barclay family Patricia, Michael with wife Steph, and Ray

Mr Barclay said: “My dad was diagnosed with melanoma – skin cancer – last year until he finally passed away in January of this year.

“It was a long and very painful journey which I still haven’t fully processed, but it made me very aware of the things that could be done to make the situation more tolerable for sufferers and their families.

“My dad played in all the local leagues for darts for over 40 years and was well known in the community.

"I wanted to do something to make sure that other families who go through what we had to go through, have comfort and support."

Work on setting up the charity is still underway but it has two clear aims as it seeks to make a difference, however small, to the comfort and support of cancer patients and their loved ones.

The first goal is to contribute towards making, maintaining, and upgrading family rooms adjacent to the loved ones’ palliative care rooms in hospitals.

The second is to contribute towards ensuring oncology departments have as much backing as possible, as they seek to provide the best of care with the latest equipment.

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Mr Barclay added: “Whilst the main thrust at the moment is towards those with melanoma we want to help all cancer sufferers and give them and their families support, comfort, and dignity as they enter the final stages of their life.

“The staff on ward 14 were lovely and they deserve all the help they can get.

“The courtyard outside the hospital is looking a bit dull so one of our objectives is to do it up to make it look nice for families to spend time in.

“I want to do this to help put smiles on peoples faces, whether that’s the nurses of ward 14 or the people who are in there. It also puts a smile on my face and many others, when we see how much we have raised for a good cause like this.

“I have raised a lot of money for charity in the past but I have never set up a charity myself, so the last few months has been a lot of back and forth but we are on our way now.

“I really need local companies to come on board to help me achieve my goal of becoming a registered charity. Regular donations, however small, would be invaluable and any fundraising events that people care to set up would be wonderful.”

The first official fundraising event took place on Tuesday, October 12. The event, called Dartsmania, took place at Eston institute on Eston High Street.

The next fundraising event will be on Saturday, November 6 at Marton Cricket Club.

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