Harry Potter star Warwick Davis has praised a Donington family for the part they are playing in raising awareness of the charity Little People UK.
Warwick and his wife, Sammy, chatted to Jessica Ward (11) at Little People’s get together a few days ago – and posed for a picture in front of a lorry that takes Jessica’s and Little People’s names across the country.
The special livery was created by Pinchbeck firm CPT Distribution for a lorry driven by Jessica’s dad, Carl (42), and the eight-tonne vehicle will star in a “truck pull” when Little People UK hold a big get together in the autumn.
When the truck was first painted in November, Carl drove his special cab to surprise Jessica at Thomas Cowley High School and said then: “I am amazed that the business would do this.”
The family are thrilled with everything the firm has done for them and they are today asking our readers to donate to Little People UK so families across the country affected by dwarfism can benefit from a charity they consider to be their lifeline.
Jessica’s mum, Laura (32), said families like hers would feel totally isolated if they had no one to turn to and Little People UK provides a ready made community where they can share problems or simply chat with people who understand.
She said: “Little People is a charity very close to our hearts and it has a mega impact on Jessica and our family life.
“The charity helps with advice and there’s a Facebook page where people can chat away.”
It also provides opportunities for families to meet and have fun, and Laura feels it is every bit as important for sons Nathan (13) and Ashley (8) as it is for Jessica.
Jessica has come close to losing her life several times due to medical complications arising from hydrocephalus (fluid on the brain) and has had blue light, emergency ambulance rides to hospital.
Jessica battles other health problems, including arthritis, and has had to cope with a prolonged spell of having metal callipers on her legs.
She is a regular visitor to hospitals in Sheffield, Nottingham and London.
In spite of all of her health problems Jessica always finds a way to bounce back.
“She’s a little fighter,” said Laura. “She’s like my little person with a massive personality. She just amazes me for what she goes through and she still stands up smiling. She makes me so proud to be her mum.”
Jessica says her spirits sink at times but going to Little People UK weekends, like the recent one in Matlock, make her feel much better.
“When I feel down about myself, I have always got Little People UK,” said Jessica. “You get to meet new friends. I made two new friends at the last weekend – Jessica and Callie – and I chat to them on Snapchat.”
Jessica belongs to two drama groups and may one day make the stage her career, although she’s also tempted to go into hair and beauty, perhaps owning her own salon, or indulging another great passion, that of baking.
Warwick is president and patron of Little People UK and he and his wife Sammy, who chairs the charity, are thrilled Carl’s company has created the special livery for the truck and that Carl is promoting the charity as he drives thousands of miles around the country.
He said: “It helps us do the things we do for our members.”
The film star says Carl’s lorry may also get the message out to someone who would benefit from the charity’s help.
Little People UK is dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with dwarfism, providing support and information, including information about medical and social issues.
The Lincs Free Press Children’s Fund is donating £400-plus so Jessica and her family can attend this coming autumn’s big convention from September 30 to October 2.
To donate to Little People UK, please visit littlepeopleuk.org and click on the ‘Ways you can donate’ tab – these include Paypal, text and JustGiving.
To donate to the Lincs Free Press Children’s Fund, please make out a cheque payable to our fund and send it to the Lincolnshire Free Press, Priory House, The Crescent, Spalding PE11 1AB.