Alexandra Wylie Tower Foundation founder: 'We'll move forward with my daughter's positive energy'
PUBLISHED: 16:17 01 February 2016 | UPDATED: 16:22 01 February 2016
"There's one thing I've learned through Alexandra's death, and that's that people are essentially good."
So says Lindsey Wiley, whose daughter Alexandra died at the age of just 17 after a two year battle with cancer.
Fondly remembered for her sense of social justice and vitality, Alexandra’s family was overwhelmed by the groundswell of goodwill following the tragedy.
Lindsey was determined that a lot of good could be done in her daughter’s name.
In the year after she died in November 2010, the Alexandra Wylie Tower Foundation was set up to provide support for disadvantaged children in North London.
It has since played an active role in changing lives, providing essential supplies as well as activities for those most in need.
Lindsey recalled: “I think starting the charity happened naturally.
“When Alexandra was ill my sister wanted to give her something to think about, so she started making donations and asking Alexandra where she wanted them to be sent.
“Alexandra had a strong feeling for social justice.
“After she died it was something that evolved naturally.”
A popular teenager, the former Channing School pupil’s death left her friends devastated.
Lindsey said: “I think people were surprised because she was so full of life.
“She was so good at everything as well as being fun.
The Foundation runs projects with schools and community groups to improve the well-being of disadvantaged children and young people in North London
It aims to mitigate the effects of poverty, increase social inclusion, and offer support and guidance
The charity provides essential provisions, including food parcels and clothes
It also offers extra-curricular activies, such as drama and music workshops
It gives advice, such as mentoring and housing advice
The charity was set up in memory of Alexandra Wylie, who died at just 17 from a rare form of cancer. In her lifetime, she was dedicated to helping others.
To donate, go to justgiving.com/awtf/Donate/
The foundation is always on the lookout for volunteers
“I was really overwhelmed by the groundswell of support from everybody so it seemed a natural thing to try to turn it into something positive.”
And she continued: “Alexandra was very much about life, so the mission statement was going to be something positive that focuses on helping out children.
“I was very aware about how lucky I was to have spent time with her.”
Since it formed, the foundation has grown from strength to strength, and the support of celebrities including patrons Juliet Stevenson and Michelle Collins has helped to raise its profile.
An early gala at Alexandra Palace was opened by actor Alan Rickman – “he was so lovely to us,” Lindsey recalled.
And the former Dr Who star, Christopher Ecclestone, was also moved by the charity’s story and aims, and has become an ardent supporter of the cause.
Asked what her daughter would have made of the charity’s evolution in its first five years, Lindsey said: “I think she would have been delighted.
“My feeling is that we’ll move forward with her positive energy.
“Initally it was people who knew Alexandra and were in awe of her at school who supported us, but five years on we’re now finding supporters who didn’t know her.”
The Ham&High is proudly working with two charity partners in 2016.
This newspaper hopes to help the AWTF and the Marie Curie Hospice in Hampstead raise £50,000 this year.
News editor Dave Burke will be running the Virgin Money London Marathon in aid of the two charities. Visit his fundraising page to sponsor him.