First Jak’s Den charity support centre to open

Jak Trueman's mum Allison Barr will open the first Jak's Den this week.

Jak Trueman's mum Allison Barr will open the first Jak's Den this week.

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A SUPPORT centre to help seriously ill children and young people, established in memory of tragic teenager Jak Trueman, will open this week.

Jak, 15, from West Calder, died in February from a rare form of blood cancer and raised £40,000 for charity in the final week of his life.

Jak's Journey - Jak Trueman''Jak's mum Alison and sister

Jak's Journey - Jak Trueman''Jak's mum Alison and sister

The first Jak’s Den is due to open on Friday and will offer a range of support and counselling services to youngsters across the region.

His mother, Allison Barr, 44, from Mid Calder, said: “Jak wanted a centre to be opened that would not only help young cancer patients, but those with other life-limiting illnesses and their families.

“To see Jak’s Den opening just 10 months on from his death is the best Christmas present. Obviously, we would trade it for Jak in a second, but I know we can’t have that.”

Jak documented his illness and treatment on social media during the final months of his life.

Jak's Journey - Jak Trueman with girlfriend Hannah Boyd

Jak's Journey - Jak Trueman with girlfriend Hannah Boyd

Team Jak – the charity set up in his name by family members to help create retreats for children affected by cancer – has raised nearly £130,000. Charity leaders also have long-term plans to open a purpose-built community centre.

In the meantime, Jak’s Den will be based at Geddes House in Kirkton North, Livingston. Ms Barr added: “Realistically, it’s going to be at least three to five years before we can build our purpose-built dream of Jak’s Den. But we knew it was essential we have a physical presence in the community as soon as possible.”

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