Pride of Britain: Meet the mum who has fundraised tirelessly after young son's death

  • Marina Jenkins went to talk to Pride of Britain nominee Jill Oxley

Each year, ITV West Country searches for a Regional Fundraiser of the Year as part of the national Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Award.

One of our eight shortlisted nominees is Jill Oxley, who has been raising money for Derriford Hospital in Plymouth ever since the death of her son Jon Paul in 2012.

Jon was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when he was 10 days old. At the age of three, he started raising money for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust and was eventually awarded a shield for his fundraising efforts.

He continued his fundraising until he died in 2012, shortly after his 21st birthday.

Jill then set up a memorial fund in his name, raising money for the ward he was treated on at Derriford Hospital.

"I just do it to help other people," she told ITV News West Country. "The same as my son would've done. I always like to think of others, to help others.

Jon Paul loved football and fire fighters Credit: Family Handout

"There's other people like me in my situation, whose children have still got cystic fibrosis and things like that. I just feel like it's my way of keeping his memory alive."

Jill has raised £6,500 by hosting charity football matches, talent shows and festive fairs among other things.

Nurse Caroline Whitton has very fond memories of caring for Jon Paul.

Even though it's been 10 years since he died, she says it is inspiring that Jill still supports the ward.

The funds that Jill has raised have paid for new TVs, Xboxes, a recliner chair as well as travel costs for patients.

She said: "There's only three transplant centres in the UK. Obviously, we're down in the South West. So the nearest hospital is Harefield Hospital, which is near London. Being able to get to those appointments, financial considerations do come into it.

"For some of them, the thought of not being able to afford it actually affects whether they chose to go down the transplant route. That's not really something that should happen.

"Jill's money she's raised does make the difference with that because we're able to support patients with that."

Jill is inspired by her son's personality and positive mindset. He never let anything stop him from doing what he enjoyed

"For JP to have started the fundraising, and then her to be following it through, it's an amazing legacy for him. She's still very focused on helping others and I think that says a lot about her personality".

Jill says that it's her son's personality that inspires her every day.

She said: "I am his mother, I have to be strong. I can't let it get the better of me. I have my moments, where I just go down to the cemetery and sit and talk to him. He's here and he always will be."