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Thursday, 21 August 2014

Barrow parents £30K fund-raising target

CAMPAIGNERS have reached a £30,000 fundraising target to bring specialist therapy for severely disabled children to Barrow.

The parents of three-year-old Jack Bennett, who has cerebral palsy, started the fundraising drive earlier this year in a bid to bring Conductive Education to Barrow.

Furness families have had to travel to the Legacy Rainbow House in Ormskirk, Lancashire, in order for their children to benefit from the special course of therapy, which helps people with the condition live more active and independent lives.

Numerous kind-hearted cash contributions have tipped the fundraising total well over £30,000.

The money will pay for two members of staff – a conductor and a facilitator – to deliver the service once a week at Greengate Children’s Centre for one year.

Four children, including Jack, are already set to benefit when the therapy begins, hopefully after Easter, but there is capacity for another four children.

Jack’s mum Joanne Bennett takes him to Ormskirk two days a week for a three-hour session, so having the therapy on her doorstep will make life infinitely easier.

A delighted Mrs Bennett, of Gleaston Avenue, Barrow, said: “I’m amazed how generous people have been. People really are there for you when you need them.

“It will be a lot easier for me, I’ll just be able to take him down the road.

“It frees up my day and it will be a lot less stressful for him, not having to sit in the car for one-and-a-half hours each way.

“And when we get him to school, he won’t miss as much school time “It’s just so much better with it in Barrow.”

In order to maintain the expensive therapy, Mrs Bennett and other families will continue, as a committee, to
fundraise year-on-year to ensure the treatment stays in Barrow.

They also hope to reach a position where reduced rates can be offered to parents.

Natasha Kenny’s daughter Tabetha, nine, will access the treatment.

Mrs Kenny, of Furness Park Road, Barrow, said: “We had to stop going to Ormskirk because we couldn’t manage it because of our work commitments, so she has not had the treatment for a long time.

“She changed completely by having it – she was able to step, crawl and things she has never done before, and even take independent steps, which is amazing and not really expected of her.

“She excelled beyond expectation by doing this therapy, so to get here is amazing.”

Lianne Morgan’s son Joe, four, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy two years ago.

She said: “It’s going to make a massive difference.

“If we can just get Joe on his feet and walking, it would be absolutely amazing. Seeing how much Jack has improved, it was immense.

“I can’t thank Joanne Bennett enough.”

Kelly Jackson, of Lichfield Close, Barrow, whose daughter Lei-Faith, five, will also benefit, said: “My little girl goes to Ormskirk once a week, but with saving the cost of travel and petrol, we could afford to go twice a week.

“It’s great, we’re really happy.”

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