They're Off!

Mark Williams and Lewis Lonsdale, school friends of Laurie's, have now set off on their epic bike ride for the fund, in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust.  Inspired by Matthew’s book, Engel’s England, they will tour all of the 39 old English counties, plus London, covering a distance of 3,100 miles in 31 days.  They will visit three points of interest in each county, including cathedrals, cricket grounds, Teenage Cancer Trust units, most northerly, southerly, highest and lowest points in the country, etc.   To sponsor the ride, please go to



Uncle Richard's birthday

Laurie's Uncle Richard had a significant birthday in November, and at his request many of his friends and colleagues have made generous donations to Laurie's fund.

George's Tough Mudder

tough mudder 2George Wood-Cole (on the left in the photo), a school friend of Laurie's, took part in a Tough Mudder challenge in May.  George is a keen sportsman, and plays for his local cricket and football teams in Herefordshire.  He was in training for the Tough Mudder for several months; and although struggling with knee trouble at the time, he completed the challenge in three hours, raising far more money than he'd expected - over £700.  

 Great Uncle Mervyn's birthday

In May Laurie's great uncle, Mervyn Lesser, celebrated his 90th birthday, and many of his guests generously marked the occasion with donations to Laurie's fund.

Jeanne and Rachel's wedding

On Easter Sunday 2015 Laurie's cousin Rachel Engel married Jeanne Dippenaar in London; and they very kindly asked their guests to make donations to Laurie's fund.  

Recent Events:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn autumn 2015 we held an open weekend in our restored cider mill, worked by a horse for the second time in a hundred years.  Pye the stallion did most of the hard work, helped by his owners Wendy and John Lloyd, and Vika.  Two hundred and fifty litres of Fair Oak cider were made, and £200 was taken in donations.  

Vika's Ride

VikaAndJack235 In 2013 Laurie’s sister Vika successfully completed her epic birthday ride across Wales "from the Bay to Hay", raising £25,000 for the fund. The story is here...  

Rachel's Triathlon

photo (5)She did it!  In June 2013, Laurie's cousin Rachel took part in the Henley Triathlon, her first ever: a 400 metre swim, 25 km bike ride, and 5 km run.  Her time was 2 hours 5 minutes - faster than she ever imagined.  She raised more than £7000 (with match-funding from her company, Macquarie Group). 

  • Vika's uncle, Tony Engel, asked for donations to the Fund on his 70th birthday and raised £1500.
  • Our friend Steve Barnett asked for donations to the Fund on his 60th birthday.
  • Golf writer Patricia Davies made it her charity for her year as Ladies’ Captain of Whittington Heath Golf Club, raising £6,800.
  • Frank_KeatingJane Keating asked for donations in memory of her husband, the brilliant sports writer Frank Keating, who died in January 2013.
  • Matthew's aunt and uncle, Ruth and Mervyn Lesser, asked for donations instead of gifts to celebrate their Diamond Wedding.
Paul Freeland built this new website, for which many thanks.
Laurie Engel was a smart, funny, charming, sparky, sporty boy. Until

he was 11 he never had a more serious ailment than athlete’s foot.












He lived on a farm in Herefordshire with his parents, Matthew and Hilary, and younger sister Vika.

Laurie wanted to win Wimbledon or, failing that, be a sports writer like his dad. Almost anything seemed possible – except what did happen. He was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive cancer. Despite 17 months of intensive treatment, he died in September 2005, aged 13.

Laurie’s friends often speak of his kindness. He said he wanted to make a difference. His family set up the Laurie Engel Fund to make sure that he would.

The Laurie Engel Fund

Laurie was treated at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, the childhood cancer centre for much of England. The Engel family found the medical care there world-class, but the facilities and surroundings dismal.

The Engel family set up the Laurie Engel Fund to try to ensure future patients have better conditions than Laurie did. Working initially with Teenage Cancer Trust, the fund raised £1.1m – and as a result a new £2.5m teenage unit opened in 2010. It has been a huge success, delighting patients, parents and staff and setting new standards at the hospital.

The snag was that the unit created a big discrepancy between the facilities available to teenagers and to younger children, who are still being housed in the old, low-grade wards. Recognising the problem, Birmingham Children’s Hospital has launched a £4m appeal to bring all their cancer facilities into a similar class.

In January 2013 the Engels decided to redirect Laurie’s fund to support this important cause – to try to give all the younger cancer patients the amenities they deserve; and to give them the best possible chance of recovery.

Please support us, Laurie, and all the children who will have to endure treatment for cancer in the future.

In 2013 the Laurie Engel Fund – having achieved its original objective of building a teenage cancer unit at Birmingham Children’s Hospital – switched to supporting the hospital’s own appeal: raising £4 million towards the cost of an entirely new cancer department.  This target has now been reached, and work has started on the new four-storey building, due to be completed in 2017.