IN September a group of family, friends and supporters will set out on a gruelling trek walking through the night to complete the 40-mile Lyke Wake Walk.

It’s now an annual event which raises funds in honour of a very special boy who lost his life to an inoperable brain tumour over a decade ago.

Matthew Jacobs was just nine years old when he died on March 6 2012 and his devastated parents Sheran and Kev from Elsecar decided to help other families affected by childhood cancer.

The couple and Matthew’s big sister Hannah set up ‘Matthew’s a Friend In Me’ in memory of Matthew shortly after he died and work tirelessly with support from fundraisers and a committee, all volunteers, to offer financial help and support to families.

“While Matthew was ill, the family went through every emotion possible and realised how hard it was to function day to day the charity aims to offer support to other families going through this,” said a spokesperson for Matthew’s a Friend In Me.

Now a registered charity, Matthew’s a Friend In Me raises money for families who find themselves in the unfortunate position of having a child suffering from a form of childhood cancer.

They offer financial support to families who are struggling through this difficult time. The grant they receive can be spent on anything that helps their family it can be something they can use or need during their illness or a gift for the child.

“The financial support grant of up to £500 has been spent on getting the child’s bedroom redecorated or for trips or gifts.

“Recently with the cost-of-living crisis, we have had more applications and grants have been used for paying fuel bills when a child has the chance to go home but needs oxygen and the family is struggling with the costs of the extra electricity payments,” said the spokesperson.

The charity works very closely with Young Lives vs Cancer and Sheffield Children’s Hospital to ensure that the money is used in the best way possible and takes comfort from the fact that they are keeping Matthew’s memory alive.

Individuals, businesses and groups around Barnsley fundraise for the charity and, as well as the Lyke Wake Walk, the charity also holds an annual Christmas raffle and, earlier this year, held its first charity ball.

Matthew’s a Friend In Me has been nominated in the Charity of the Year category in the Proud of Barnsley awards with numerous nominations received.

“We are overwhelmed by the nominations the charity wasn’t set up for recognition but we were all really shocked and so pleased when we heard the news.”

Donations can be directly made at and the charity can be contacted by email: