Please help Alice get dream chair

Alice Bates, who is severely disabled, needs a powered wheelchair to help her move.

Alice Bates, who is severely disabled, needs a powered wheelchair to help her move.

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THE family of a severely disabled little girl, Alice Bates, have launched an £8,000 fundraising campaign to give her the chance to move around under her own steam for the first time in her life.

THE family of a severely disabled little girl, Alice Bates, have launched an £8,000 fundraising campaign to give her the chance to move around under her own steam for the first time in her life.

Four-year-old Alice has one of the most severe forms of cerebral palsy, which affects all four limbs.

She cannot move around on her own and needs supportive seating to sit up.

But a powered wheelchair will change all that.

Alice has already had a brief try out in a powered chair when The Peterborough Mobility Company took one to her home in Gedney Road, Long Sutton.

Mum Charlotte said: “They came to do an assessment and Alice tried the chair out and within seconds she worked out that it was her causing the chair to move.

“She was asked to move it forward but she enjoyed spinning it around.

“It was the first time in her life that she has had independent movement and control. She was laughing and smiling – and when they took it away she absolutely sobbed. She kept saying ‘my chair, my chair’.

“The chair costs £7,976 and funding is not available through the wheelchair service so we are left to raise this money ourselves.

“We have had a kind offer of help from Boxercise instructor Jack Bishop, who is organising a Big Boxercise and family fun day on May 15 at Cinder Ash Park, which we hope will kick start the fundraising.”

Other events in the pipeline include a leg wax for men and a raffle.

Charlotte and her husband, Andy, have five other children – John (11), Abigail (9), Emily (8), Hannah (5) and Henry (3).

Although Alice has spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy she is due to go to a mainstream school.

Charlotte said: “All six of them will be a Long Sutton Primary – between the nursery and the school – next September.”

When Charlotte takes the family to the local park, Alice shouts ‘me play, me play’. But she cannot join in with the games on her own.

Charlotte said: “Alice is a really special little girl who tackles everything life throws at her with determination.

“I would love nothing more than to give her the independence she so desperately needs.”

* TODAY we have set the ball rolling with a £1,000 donation to the powered wheelchair fund for Alice.

Please help us and Alice’s family raise the rest of the money so this little girl can at last enjoy the freedom of being able to move around independently.

You can help by organising your own fundraising events at your school, club or pub – perhaps a non-uniform day, a table top sale, a coffee morning or a raffle.

Let us know in advance and we can publicise your event – and perhaps take pictures of you while you are having fun fundraising.

Our donation to Alice’s appeal has come from The Lincolnshire Free Press Children’s Fund, a charitable fund set up to help children in need in our circulation area.

If you wish to donate to Alice’s appeal, please make cheques payable to The Lincolnshire Free Press Children’s Fund and write ‘Alice’ on the envelope. Please send or deliver your donations to our offices at The Lincolnshire Free Press, Priory House, The Crescent, Spalding, Lincolnshire PE11 1AB.