Smile for Po
11 December 2019 | Scotland
Selfless Rebecca’s new charity in honour of her mum will help others
It takes a special kind of strength to turn a tragedy into a force for good. But that is exactly what TSB partner Rebecca Jolly did after she lost her beloved mother.
Pauline, or ‘Po’ as she was affectionately called, was struck down by myeloma, a form of blood cancer five years ago and passed away last year, at the age of 51.
Determined to bring a positive out of the sad loss, Rebecca decided to set up a charity to help other people affected by cancer by giving them something to make them smile.
“Mum used to always have something to look forward to, to get her through the chemotherapy. So, I decided to set up a charity that gives gifts and experiences to cancer patients going through treatment. And we called it Love Po, after mum.
“When mum was ill, my sister Melissa and I were her priority but she still liked doing normal things like going for dinner, going to the theatre or getting her hair done.”
Family members or friends can apply or refer someone to Love Po for a gift or experience like a weekend away, a football match, race car experience or other days out. They aim to give out at least 50 gifts or experiences a year.
Rebecca, 26, from Edinburgh, works as an operational communication manager for TSB and her mum was also a TSB partner. She runs the charity in her spare time and has formed relationships with local businesses to secure the prizes. “It’s early days as we just officially launched the charity, but hopefully we will put a few smiles on faces. My granny said to me, ‘Becca, how are you going to do this?’ But the charity allows us to focus on the positive.
“I just got engaged two weeks ago and we are going to have a party and turn it into a fundraiser for the charity. I know how special it was for my mum to have something to look forward to but sometimes you are not in a position to treat yourself. It means a lot to me and my sister than we can give back and help others.”
Colleague Helen Cleaves said: “Becca is a truly inspirational partner, her response to her mum passing away speaks volumes about the type of person she is. Caring, considerate and always eager to help, she goes above and beyond what's expected of her. I'm proud to know her and think she brings TSB's values to life every day in everything she does.”