Let’s make it the best ever birthday for Long Sutton girl Alice

A radiant Alice pictured with her mum, Charlotte, last year. SG030715-113TW
A radiant Alice pictured with her mum, Charlotte, last year. SG030715-113TW

Today we launch the TEN FOR 10 APPEAL to make two of a remarkable little girl’s ten dearest wishes come true as her 10th birthday draws near.

We’re donating £500 from the Lincolnshire Free Press Children’s Fund towards a lodge-style therapy play room for Alice Bates, who has fought life-threatening health problems from the day she was born.

Alice with big sister Abigail and their mum, Charlotte. SG260916-210TW

Alice with big sister Abigail and their mum, Charlotte. SG260916-210TW

There are even bigger battles to come for the courageous youngster as her teenage years are likely to be the most dangerous she’s ever faced.

Her family are devoting the whole of 2017 to celebrate Alice’s life and her birthday milestone although February 3 is the big day itself.

Urged on by her family, Alice has drawn up a list of her 10 dearest wishes – one for every year of her life.

We asked Alice’s family if we could help fulfil two of those wishes by launching our own appeal to build a £5,500 timber lodge to house the therapy play room, which will contain equipment Alice must use for daily exercises to stay well, and a separate appeal to help ensure Alice receives 1,000 birthday cards to open on her big day.

Alice Bates is a ray of sunshine.

Alice Bates is a ray of sunshine.

With our £500 in the pot, that leaves £5,000 to find – so today we are asking our caring readers to donate whatever they can spare – every penny is precious however little it may seem – or fundraise through special events to help us achieve the target.

The therapy play room will make it easier for Alice to access vital exercise equipment if it is conveniently stored in one spot rather than scattered around different rooms in the family’s Long Sutton home.

Alice is a big fan of Ariel from Disney’s The Little Mermaid and would like the interior of the therapy play room to have mirrors, sensory lighting and “Ariel on the wall”, and her family are taking on the task of decorating it to make Alice’s dream come true.

Alice’s family, including her mum and dad, Charlotte and Andy, are planning celebrations themed around 10 and multiples of 10 – hence the 1,000 birthday cards.

Charlotte says: “Alice loves receiving post and opening cards. She wishes to fill her room with birthday cards so you can’t see any walls.”

Two other wishes on the list show Alice’s adventurous side as she “wants to fly like Peter Pan” and to “drive a fast car”.

Charlotte and Andy are checking with indoor sky diving centres to see what can be done to help Alice fly and are considering approaching theatres that have star actors flying on wires. The family will also speak to local car clubs for advice on racing experiences for children.

Charlotte says: “Alice loves the feeling of going fast, whether it be on an amusement ride or running in her sister’s arms. She would love to sit in the front seat of a car but as we have a wheelchair accessible vehicle she is always in the back.”

• Please send your donations to the Lincolnshire Free Press Children’s Fund, Priory House, Spalding PE11 1AB. And please post birthday cards, suitable for a little girl, to Alice Bates, care of The Lincolnshire Free Press at our Priory House address.

We are ready to receive your cards and will save them for Alice’s big day. To discuss the appeal call Lynne Harrison on 01775 765413 or email lynne.harrison@jpress.co.uk