Family fun day in memory of Sam Barclay

Sam Barclay at Disneyland
Sam Barclay at Disneyland

SUMMER festivities will see a family-fun day celebrate the life of a mother who died of cancer last year.

Sam Barclay, from Bersted, died at the age of 34 after a bout of breast cancer, which saw her leave behind her two sons.

Sam barclay on her wedding day

Sam barclay on her wedding day

Now, mum Barbie Bateman wants to pay tribute to her daughter who ‘always had a smile on her face’, by raising money for St Wilfrid’s Hospice.

She said the hospice gave her daughter ‘brilliant’ care in the last days of her life.

Barbie and family friend Doreen Harper will hold a fete in Oaklands Park, Chichester, on Saturday May 31, called ‘It’s All About Sam’.

There will be a hog roast, a bouncy castle, stalls, a raffle, face painting and much more – making it a real day out for the family.

Barbie told the Observer Sam’s story, and why she decided to raise the money for St Wilfrid’s.

Sam and her twin sister Katie grew up in Yapton, with mum Barbie and dad Ian, and went to North Mundham School and then Chichester High School.

In 2004 Sam married Jim and had two children, Stuart, now six, and Ryan, four.

“She was diagnosed on November 3, 2010,” said Barbie. “Sam had been to the doctor, as she found a lump when she was pregnant with Ryan, but was told it was normal,” said Barbie.

But it wasn’t until a few months later, after Ryan was born, that she went back to the doctor and the cancer was confirmed.

“It was very aggressive cancer,” said Barbie. “She had chemotherapy before surgery, and had her mastectomy in April – on the royal wedding day.

“The surgery went well, she recovered from that, she was okay.”

Sam even managed to do the Race for Life 10k after her operation.

“We raised over £800,” said Barbie. “I was really proud of her.

“She was so determined to finish it – and she did. I struggled to keep up with her”

But months later, in mid-2012, Sam started to feel unwell again on a camping trip with her family.

“She felt quite uncomfortable,” said Barbie.

“She went up to the hospital and they kept her in for a few hours and sent her home with painkilers.

“On the Friday she had to go back in again. They said it was breast cancer and it had spread to her spine and her liver.

“They told her it was terminal.”

After that the family decided to make the most of the time they had with Sam, and set about raising money to take her to Disneyland –where she had always wanted to go.

They started raising money for ‘Sam’s Disney Dream’, and raised enough for six of them to go in April 2013.

“We got it all set up before Christmas, she knew nothing about it,” said Barbie.

“When we told her, she burst into tears.”

Barbie said the family had a great time at Disneyland, and it really did make Sam’s Dream’s come true, despite a short stint in hospital while she was there.

But when they got back from holiday, things started to go downhill.

“She really did not do much after that,” said Barbie.

Sam was taken to St Wilfrid’s Hospice in August for the last few days of her life, and died on August 12.

“You can’t fault their work, they are brilliant, even on her last day they were absolutely fantastic.”

Barbie said she was determined to raise money for the hospice, because of the comfort they gave her family and daughter in the last days of her life.

As well as the fete, she will hold an auction at Mundham village hall on Saturday, July 5. There will be a range of auction items, from a signed Manchester United football, driving lessons, an ebook, a snooker table, a signed Arsenal football, a bracelet and jewellery site, to tuition for four to 13-year-olds at Chelsea Football club.

As well as raising money for the hospice, the events are a fitting tribute to Sam, who lived her life to the full.

“Even when she was really ill, she always had that cracking smile on her face,” said Barbie.

Anyone who would be interested in getting involved in the fete or auction, including stallholders or those with donations for the auction, should contact Barbie by email, at