TWO young sisters who have suffered the heartbreak of seeing loved ones die of cancer have responded by raising money for their local hospital.

Katie and Nicola Sinclair, aged eight and 11, have lost five family members to the illness since 2009, including their beloved great aunt and uncle.

Having been touched by cancer at such a young age, they wanted to do something to help, and came up with the enterprising idea of making ‘memory bracelets’ out of paper, beads and wool.

They have raised more than £300 by selling the bracelets to friends, at Christmas fairs and even from a stall set up in the drive at their home in Sycamore Avenue, Evesham.

They have also been receiving orders online after their mum Mandy Sinclair advertised the sentimental bracelets on Facebook.

Macmillan was the girls’ charity of choice after their aunt Rita was admitted to the Macmillan unit at Evesham Community Hospital for the last few weeks of her life in 2011.

The family visited her throughout her stay and were extremely close to her.

“The girls loved their Auntie Rita lots and were extremely upset when she died,” said Mrs Sinclair. “Before long my uncle Derek, Rita’s husband, was taken ill and died too.

“The staff were absolutely amazing to both my auntie and her visitors. The rooms were more like bedrooms than hospital rooms.

“The girls asked why the rooms were like that. When we explained how it works and that it relies on donations, they wanted to raise money for it.”

The bracelets carry even more sentimental value for the sisters as they make them using supplies of wool their aunt, an avid knitter, had left behind.

Mrs Sinclair is incredibly proud of their efforts. “At a very early age my daughters learnt about cancer and they wanted to help,” she said. “We are all extremely proud of them both – to see at such a young age how they have coped and dealt with family deaths and how they have showed their maturity, caring nature and their eagerness to help raise money to help others is amazing.”

Katie, who goes to St Richard’s First School, and Nicola who attends Simon DeMontfort Middle School, presented a cheque to the Macmillan ward at the start of the new year. And they have already started thinking about how they can raise even more money for Macmillan.