Family fun to support Devizes Opportunity Centre

Family fun to support Devizes Opportunity Centre

The Hams family is holding a fun day to help Devizes Opportunity Centre

Parents Rachel and Tim Pickford with Isambard, who attends the Devizes Opportunity Centre, and Hilary and Paul Hams

First published in News
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A family which runs a transport firm in Devizes is helping to put our appeal on the right road by holding a summer fun day.

The Hams family has more reason than most to support Devizes Opportunity Centre as the grandchild of founders Paul and Hilary Hams attends the centre twice a week.

Isambard Pickford, three, was born eight weeks early weighing 3lb 7oz, but his parents Rachel, 34, and Tim, 38, had no cause for concern until he was more than 18 months old and still not walking.

Mrs Pickford, who works full-time in the family transport business on the Hopton Industrial Estate, said: “Everyone just kept saying to me ‘he was premature, it will take him a while to catch up’. But I was very worried there was something wrong.”

It was not until Easter last year, when Izzy, as he is known to his family, tried on some special boots and almost immediately stood up and started walking, that experts acknowledged he had a problem.

He was seen again by a health visitor and a paediatrician and referred to the opportunity centre.

Mrs Pickford said: “As a family we knew about the centre as my mum is a member of Devizes Town Band and they had done some fundraising for it. But we never expected that one day we would need it ourselves.

“I just feel so lucky that we have a place like that in Devizes. Since Izzy has gone there he has come on so much and now gets regular physiotherapy and lots of other help and stimulation. He absolutely loves everyone there."

He has now been diagnosed with diplegia cerebral palsy, which makes his legs stiff and weak. He has started horse riding and swimming to help his muscle tone and can now walk short distances.

Mrs Pickford said: “His speech and language is very good and he has an answer for everything.

"He is a very happy child. We are very indebted to Betty Newman the manager as when she came out to see us the nursery was quite full and we were very lucky to get a place. We now hope he will be able to go to mainstream school and I don’t think that would have happened without the centre.

“Staff also know immediately when a parent is feeling down and just give you a hug.”

Mr Hams wanted the family to do something to help the opportunity centre and had the idea of a family fun day at the family home in Worton.

He is persuading villagers, customers and contacts to become involved and donate rides and attractions. So far they have been offered fairground rides, a steam engine, marquees and a Peppa Pig outfit .

Mrs Pickford said: “We haven’t set a definite date yet, but it will be in June or July."

Email your event details to: jmoore3@gazetteandherald.co.uk

You can donate through virginmoneygiving.com at http://tinyurl.com/oarw99t

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