Memorial fund set up by Colerne family giving a better life for Mason, from Compton Bassett (From The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald)
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Memorial fund set up by Colerne family giving a better life for Mason, from Compton Bassett
The family of Colerne school girl Jemima Prees will use donations from a charity set up in her memory to buy a £775 tricycle for cerebral palsy sufferer Mason Haley.
The charity, named Jemima’s Gift, was set up after she died in a skiing accident last month and aims to provide opportunities to children in the arts, sport and education.
Mason, aged four, of Briar Leaze, Compton Bassett, will be the first to benefit after Jemima’s dad Tim Prees learned of an appeal launched by national charity Caudwell Children.
Mr Prees, who is a solicitor at Wansbroughs, said he hoped Mason would be the first of many to benefit from donations to Jemima’s Gift, which have now exceeded £10,000.
He said: “I saw the article online and it was immediately obvious to me that this is just the sort of situation Jemima’s Gift exists to support. It’s all about providing gifts to children to enable them to make the most of life.
“It’s been really helpful for us – it’s a very sad time but to have raised over £10,000 is a tribute to how much Jemima touched people’s hearts.
“Jemima always had an appreciation of the fact that not everybody has the same opportunities in life. I think that came from the fact that she was dyslexic and reading was a huge challenge for her.
“Mason’s bike is the first, we hope, of many. I would be very happy to say that if Gazette readers know of any causes where it might be appropriate to provide support, please get in touch either through the Gazette or via the Jemima’s Gift website.”
Mason, who is a pupil at the St Nicholas School in Chippenham, was starved of oxygen at birth when the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck and, as a result, has cerebral palsy, autism, epilepsy and learning disabilities.
The new equipment means he will be able to help strengthen his legs, aid his co-ordination and balance and boost his confidence through playing with other youngsters.
The news that Mason’s bike would be paid for left Mason’s mum Tina, 32, lost for words at first.
She said: “I don’t know what to say. It’s absolutely fantastic. It will be great for Mason. We would love to go out cycling, even if we can just go for a walk and take Mason on his trike. We live out in the countryside and there are lots and lots of places to visit.
“The trike we want to get for him has a handle on it so we can push him and straps so we can strap his feet in. Obviously as we’re pushing him his feet will go round and eventually he will be able to do it for himself. It will be a different perspective for him and I think he’ll love it.”
To find out more about Jemima’s Gift visit www.jemimasgift.wordpress.com or to help Caudwell’s Children visit www.caudwellchildren.com