Evesham Vale Growers organise football match to help three town children walk

THREE Evesham children will benefit from a football match to raise funds to help them walk. The Evesham Vale Growers organised the charity football match at Pershore Town Football Club to raise funds for Olivia Hancock, aged eight, Lewis Langstone, aged four and Ben Harris-Bell, aged two, all of whom have problems walking because of cerebral palsy. The match between Evesham Vale Growers and West Brom Legends takes place on September 6 with kick off at 2pm, raising funds for the three children to pay for therapy. Emma Haynes last month completed gruelling back to back marathons to raise money for daughter Olivia who hailed her a real life superhero. Miss Haynes said: “It's the first time we have all come together to do an event which will benefit all our children.” A life-changing operation is available on the NHS but Olivia will need months of physiotherapy after leaving the hospital as she learns how to walk by herself. The vital post-operation treatment will cost £25,000 – without it, Olivia is likely to be in a wheelchair for the rest of her life. Ben's mum Emma Bell of Henry Fowler Close, Evesham hopes to raise £60,000 to get him an operation called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy ( SDR ) and has already raised £25,000. Ben has cerebral palsy and cannot sit alone, crawl or walk and needs a life-changing operation. Specifically he needs an operation in St Louis in the USA called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy which will sever damaged nerves so he can begin to learn to crawl and walk again. His mum said: “Working together is fantastic. Not only is there a chance to raise money for all three of our kids, I'm enjoying having support from two ladies who know exactly how big a job fundraising is, but also having support from them on a personal level for the daily things we have to deal with. “We're all at different stages on the same journey so we all help each other. I hope we can do something together again once this event finishes. “Ben’s such a happy little boy and I hope that by all three families joining together the local community will get behind us all and come along and watch the match. “United growers are passionate about supporting the local community and what better way to help than by bringing Olivia, Ben and Lewis together for a fundraising event.” Olivia has cerebral palsy and has had to rely on a wheelchair and a frame since she was born as a result of the condition, which causes the muscles in her legs to be very tight and makes walking very painful and tiring. Ben, aged two, has cerebral palsy and cannot sit alone, crawl or walk and needs a life-changing operation. Lewis Langstone, aged four, of Evesham, had cerebral palsy after being born premature and relies on a wheelchair to get about but can take a few steps with a walker. His mum Laura Harris of Fairfield Road, Evesham, said the family were fundraising through the Tree of Hope charity to provide Lewis with specialist intense physiotherapy blocks at the Footsteps Centre in Oxford and private physio at home to increase his strength and mobility. She said: "We are very great full to Evesham Growers for choosing to support not one but three local children on a similar journey." Tickets for the football match are £3 and are available from Tom Cook Carpets in Blackminster and the school shop in Evesham. The families are hoping to have another six or so outlets in Evesham and Pershore selling them. Emma Haynes and Laura Harris and and Emma Bell will also have them to sell and can be contacted through their fundraising Facebook pages.

For more information about Lewis visit www.treeofhope.org.uk/footsteps-for-lewis or www.facebook.com/footstepsforlewis.