We have the cash to buy Alice’s therapy play room – but we still need birthday cards

Alice and mum Charlotte with Dorothy Katze, Mary Cooper, Dorothy Holbrook, Jill Newton, Iris Boland and Mary Stevens. SG110117-113TW
Alice and mum Charlotte with Dorothy Katze, Mary Cooper, Dorothy Holbrook, Jill Newton, Iris Boland and Mary Stevens. SG110117-113TW

Whopping donations from Holbeach charity shop Chosen and a Free Press reader mean cerebral palsy sufferer Alice Bates will get her therapy play room.

Chosen, which gave more than £41,000 to a variety of good causes between February and November, weighed in with a mighty £1,500 cheque – a big chunk will go to Alice’s special room and the rest to the Lincs Free Press Children’s Fund so we can help even more children in our circulation area.

Pupils from St Norbert's with cards they have made for Alice. ANL-170113-111740001

Pupils from St Norbert's with cards they have made for Alice. ANL-170113-111740001

A very special lady, who asked to remain anonymous, also gave £1,000 so Alice can have her vitally important physio treatments in a purpose-built lodge. And a very generous couple donated £300. We have also received a couple of smaller but most welcome donations from readers.

We are now closing our public appeal for donations for the therapy play room, with grateful thanks to everyone who has helped make Alice’s dream come true, but we pressing ahead with our second appeal for birthday cards to be sent to us for Alice.

Alice and Charlotte met some of the Chosen team at their Fleet Street shop on Friday.

There are 18 volunteers in all, none get paid, and that’s why they are able to help so many good causes, like Mencap, Help for Heroes and the Scouts.

Treasurer Iris Boland said: “We have helped many children in our area.”

Charlotte could hardly believe her ears when we told her this week that our generous readers had completed the appeal in double-quick time.

She said: “It doesn’t seem enough to say ‘thank you’ when the therapy play room means so much.

“Alice’s conditions are not curable but what we can do is keep Alice as healthy as possible, as independent as she can be, and hopefully that will extend her life and make sure she can fulfill her potential.”

A mighty effort by St Norbert’s Catholic Primary School resulted in pupils making 199 amazing cards for Alice Bates to open when she’s ten on February 3.

We are so grateful to the children for their kindness and magnificent work – and we know Alice will be thrilled on her big day.

Liz McRoberts, from St Norbert’s, told us: “Pupils in year 4 have been designing pop-up cards while pupils in years 1 and 2 have been exploring designs using finger paints.”

But we are still appealing to our readers, schools, groups like Scouts and Guides, and families to either make or buy a card and send it to us at our address in Spalding.

Alice has battled life-threatening illnesses ever since she was born and her family decided to make her tenth birthday year really special – asking her to make ten wishes.

A therapy play lodge was top of the birthday wish list but Alice also wanted to open 1,000 cards and the Free Press stepped in to help make both of those wishes come true.

Alice’s celebrations are on the theme of ten or multiples of ten.

• Please send birthday cards addressed to Alice Bates, c/o The Lincolnshire Free Press, Priory Crescent, Spalding PE11 1AB.

We accept donations all year round for our Lincs Free Press Children’s Fund, which was set up to help children in our circulation area.