Our Journey

We’ve come a long way. From being founded as a small, family-led organisation we’ve transformed into a national charity, working with every major children’s cancer unit and impacting the lives of hundreds of young people around the country every year. Find out more about how, in less than 15 years, we’ve gone from a local wonder to a real national force for change…

The Trust was originally founded as ‘Josie’s Dragonfly Trust’ in 2007 by Josie’s parents under the expressed wish of their daughter, Josie Madeline Grove, shortly after she passed away from cancer, aged 16. Since then, the charity has evolved into a nationally renowned champion of children’s healthcare and palliative support. 

The Trust was set up to raise money in order to provide Cash Gifts for children and young patients up to the age of 18, and send activity boxes to children’s cancer wards to keep the patients entertained during periods of treatment. Due to the incredible support we’ve received over the years from the local community, along with the impeccable reputation we’ve cultivated with healthcare and social workers nationally, we have expanded in every way possible, filling every gap we can find in the provision of support for young cancer patients. 

Within five years of being founded, we had expanded our reach from a handful of hospitals to encompass every major children’s and teenage cancer unit across the UK. In 2012, we widened our age bracket to allow us to provide support for anyone up to the age of 25, as we recognise young adults can be as deeply impacted as children in receiving a palliative diagnosis. In 2013, we began providing memory-making experiences under the Dragonfly Dreams initiative, no longer just providing Cash Gifts, but one-off, money-can’t-buy memories that last forever. In 2017, we began our now extensive outreach work with hospices across the country, while in 2018 we began producing keepsakes for family members. Inspired by seeing what an impact palliative care services had on a beneficiary’s family, in 2020 we began branching out into more family support services, providing unique memory boxes filled with items for the siblings of our beneficiaries to remember their brothers and sisters by after their passing, as well as individual memory boxes for patients to leave their families.

As members of the Children and Young People with Cancer Coalition, we are committed to working independently as well as with other organisations to continue growing, continue branching out into new services, and continue fighting cancer in any way we can until it is a thing of the past.  

Due to our expansion throughout the UK, the decision was made to introduce the working name of Dragonfly Cancer Trust to sit in line with the type of services we provide. We’re stepping up nationally, and ultimately each year we help more and more young people.  What has not changed however is Josie’s legacy: her selfless spirit laid the foundation for all the work we’ve done since 2007. She has impacted, and will continue to impact, the lives of thousands of young cancer patients.  

So… what’s next? Well, it’s quite simple. Each year, within the age range we support, approximately 530 young people die from cancer. We want to reach out to and support every single one of them. We want every children’s healthcare provider to know our name and know how to refer a patient to us. We want to upscale our fundraising events to become bigger and better, and attract even more donors. We want to raise more money this year than ever before, with a mind to provide more and more services to young cancer patients. 

Want to be part of the change?
Volunteer, donate or fundraise today!