Grace Kelly is forever four.

That’s how old she was when she passed away from an aggressive cancer.

So it’s a poignant day for all involved as the charity that bears her name turns five - a milestone she didn’t reach.

But, according to founder Jen Kelly, it also feels like a good time for the Grace Kelly Childhood Cancer Trust to reflect on what has been achieved in memory of her little girl.

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Five years ago on June 22, the trust registered as a charity, a step forward from the early days when Dr Kelly – Grace’s mum – decided to sell a few charity pins.

Those few pennies have since turned into £1.8 million.

Dr Kelly said: “It started from selling some awareness pin badges at the side of the road. I left them there and I nearly gave up when nobody bought any for a couple of days. Then they started trickling in and it just went from there.”

“When we set up my sister gave us a target that in five years we would have reached £100,000. It’s a little bit more than that. I think my friends who helped set it up with me thought that we might raise a few thousand pounds a year but I always wanted more.”

To date the charity has funded £270,000 of valuable research into childhood cancers and is finalising plans to invest another £80,000 into a new research project.

Grace, from Crowle, died from a rhabdoid tumour just a few weeks after becoming unwell in 2014 – and Dr Kelly is acutely aware that childhood cancer is still the number one medical cause of death for children.

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But the charity has not stopped at fundraising.

Dr Kelly said: “Grace’s legacy has continued to grow in so many ways.

“Initially I thought it would be research mainly but it wasn’t until we started getting involved with families that we saw how much support they needed. I didn’t envisage that.

“Very early on, it became apparent that there were some big gaps in the support that families of children with cancer are given both locally and nationally.

“The charity identified the need for increased support for families, clear and simple information publications for parents and children and above all, the need for greater awareness on the signs and symptoms of childhood cancer. It is through this we are striving to make a difference for other children.”

That’s why the charity created its distinctive awareness cards – not dissimilar to those given out to new parents to warn about meningitis.

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The cards have now reached more than 1.9 million people and the charity knows of at least seven children that have received an earlier diagnosis thanks to them.

The trust has also paid for ‘robots’, technology through which children isolated at home or in hospital can keep in touch with their teachers and classmates.

And it has provided almost £50,000 of financial support grants directly to families and, more recently, created a new family support worker role so parents know they no longer have to face childhood cancer alone.

Dr Kelly said: “Before it was about fundraising. Now it’s about how far can we spread, how many families can we help.”

The trust has undoubtedly saved lives – and perhaps the most direct example of this was with its support for Worcester schoolboy Oscar Saxelby-Lee.

His parents turned to the GKCCT when they faced the daunting task of raising £500,000 to fly him overseas for specialist treatment to rid him an aggressive leukaemia UK medics had said they couldn’t cure. With the help of GKCCT, the Hand in Hand for Oscar campaign eventually raised more than £700,000. After treatment, Oscar is now cancer free and doing well.

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Dr Kelly wants to thank trustees past and present, especially the trust’s chair of trustees Victoria Billings, who has been with the charity from the beginning, and employees Michelle Nolan and Emma Williams.

She added: “It has been heart-warming to see how people coming together to help has made such a difference to so many children and families.

“It has not been plain sailing all the way and it has been a very steep learning curve and a huge amount of work, but it is good to see how we are now helping so many other children like Grace.”

Grace remains at the forefront of the charity and not just in name.

Dr Kelly said: “Grace was so caring. She was always the one at the back picking up the child who’d fallen over and hurt themselves.

“The vision from the trust was inspired by Grace. Above all, she wanted to look after others before herself, and this is what we are determined to do. I do believe that Grace would be so proud of all she has helped to achieve.”

The charity’s awareness cards feature a little girl with Grace’s red hair, her favourite colours run through its communications channels and the logo reflects her love for ladybirds.

Dr Kelly said: “She is and remains at the heart of everything we do. The colour schemes, in every poster, every event, there’s always a little bit of Grace.

“She’s there everywhere.”