Ben and Toby are loving new walk-in bath

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Two disabled brothers are making the most of bathtime – thanks to the fundraising efforts of Spalding Guardian readers.

Ben and Toby Smith and their family – mum Julia, dad Darren and sister Molly –are now able to spend a bit of relaxation time in their refitted bathroom after we raised £4,000 to give them a helping hand.

We launched a fundraising drive through our Children’s Fund, primarily to buy a walk-in bath after Julia began to struggle to lift the two boys into the normal family bath.

Within two weeks we had reached our total and with the help of a retired plumber, who offered his services to source and fit the new bath, the money stretched far enough to include a matching toilet and basin, as well as new floor and wall tiles to complete the look.

Julia, of Pennygate, Spalding, said: “It is brilliant and the boys really love it.

“It is so much easier for me to get them in and out of the bath and the bathroom is now a real little haven where we can all relax.

“Molly loves using the shower and we have also been able to get a cabinet put in where we can store things, so the room is now really practical and easy for all of us.

“We really can’t thank everyone enough, we really appreciate it – without the Spalding Guardian’s fundraising efforts we would not have been able to afford to get the new bath and it is making the world of difference to us.”

Ben and Toby both suffer from global development delay, meaning they are both still in nappies and unable to walk or talk well, as well as other disabilities.

Ben had been taking a few steps, but has problems with his hips, which have recently worsened and he is now waiting to see a consultant.

An operation which was planned for next year could be brought forward to ease some of the problems.

Julia added: “The bathroom is brilliant but the boys have so many problems you never stay on a high for long – there’s always something to bring you back down.

“It’s literally one step forward and two back.

“Ben’s hip problem is affecting both of his legs at the moment.

“He needs to go to Lincoln Hospital later this month for an x-ray but it could mean the operation will need to be done this year now.”