03 Dec Help to make more youngsters smile like Ella
CHILDREN with disabilities across the North East will have their wishes granted by the Chronicle’s Sunshine Fund this Christmas.The charity, which aims to make this Christmas a magical one for disabled children and their families, is raising money to buy much-needed specialised equipment for families in need of a little help.
The fund is asking the public to help raise money so that they can reach their target of £40,000 and be able to help 32 North East kids by the end of the month. Sunshine Fund manager Julieanne Kelly said: “We are looking for Santa’s little helpers. We know that you are all very busy with shopping and festive events, but if you do have the time we would love it for you to organise your own fundraiser to help us reach our target so we can help 32 children before the end of the month. “It doesn’t have to be anything big, you could organise a Christmas bake sale or run a little raffle at work or with family and friends, all donations will be put to good use and we could provide you with some Santa suits!” The money raised, which will go towards equipment desperately needed to help make the daily lives of children with disabilities that little bit easier, is already helping kids across the region.
Five-year-old Ella Nichol was the first to receive an early Christmas present this week. Ella, who suffers from an undiagnosed condition which causes hyper mobility in her joints, received a walker worth £2,322 to help her move around independently. Her mum Hayley, 33, said she couldn’t believe it when she heard the news. She said: “I was overwhelmed when we heard. I’m so happy and so grateful. It’s going to make a massive difference to Ella’s life.”She started using a walker on and off at school but it’s shared between a few of them who need it to be able to get around so she can’t use it all the time.”As soon as she started using it we noticed a difference straight away. It’s just helped her so much. She loves being able to move around, it gave her some independence finally.
Julieanne said the fund must raise more money so that it can continue to help kids like Ella. She said: “We have a little girl from Newcastle who has just started school, she has severe learning disabilities and finds it very hard to talk.”She has started to use an iPad in class and she is using apps to talk to her teachers and friends, she really has progressed and is building in confidence and seems so much happier because she is interacting with people.”Unfortunately the school can’t let her take the iPad home as it is used by many other children. Her family are desperate to have an iPad for the home so they can help her progress further and so they can talk to her on a daily basis. An iPad costs £330, can you help us?” If you would like to discuss organising a fundraiser, or if you want to make a donation, please contact Julieanne on 0191 2016090, or email her at julieanne. firstname.lastname@example.org