RETAIL chiefs have given their backing to a charity set up in memory of tragic teenager Jak Trueman.
The Team Jak Foundation, which was established by his family so his memory could live on, has been announced as the charity partner of The Centre in Livingston.
The charity’s official launch will take place at the shopping complex this weekend and will be attended by Hearts goalkeeper and charity patron Neil Alexander.
Jak, who died aged 15 in February, became the first-ever posthumous winner of our Local Hero award earlier this month.
He dedicated his final weeks to fundraising as he battled a rare form of blood cancer and managed to raise more than £50,000 for leukaemia and lymphoma research.
His family want to set up Jak’s Den – a retreat for teenagers fighting cancer.
Lynsey Young, marketing manager at The Centre, said: “We’re very pleased to support the Team Jak Foundation and to be involved in such a worthy local cause.
“We look forward to hosting the launch this weekend and hope to see lots of local people coming down to enjoy the activities and support the charity.
“We hope the charity raises significant funds and realises the developments of Jak’s Den to benefit families in West Lothian and beyond.”
Jak’s mother Allison Barr said she was “delighted” to launch the Team Jak Foundation at The Centre and to continue Jak’s legacy to “realise his hopes and dreams”.
She added: “He wanted Jak’s Den to bring the community together not only for young cancer patients and those with other life-limiting illnesses and their families, but for any children and teenagers from West Lothian and beyond.
“The Team Jak Foundation will continue to highlight the need for blood, platelet and bone marrow donors and continue to provide support for St John’s Hospital and the Sick Kids and raise awareness for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research and Bloodwise Scotland.”
Jak’s Den will include counselling rooms, a neutropenic cafe, a normal cafe, an outdoor area with football goals, indoor activities such as a snooker table, dart board, and Xbox, music sensory garden and mini quad bike tracks.
It will also will provide support for bereaved families and feature a loud room where people can go to let off steam.