The Mid Sussex Times has launched a campaign to raise £6,000 for a disabled swing in Burgess Hill.
The swing is for disabled children at Finches in Folders Lane – a short breaks facility.
As a paper, we were inspired by Izzy Ellis, a regular visitor at Finches, who has kickstarted the fundraising by doing an abseil.
Here is her story:
Young Izzy is a regular visitor at Finches in Burgess Hill. The facility in Folders Lane, which is part of the Chailey Clincal Services, has looked after her for six years and as a way of saying thank you the eight-year-old has launched an appeal to buy a wheelchair swing for the garden.
We want to give something back to Finches – a place that has given us so much.Natalie Ellis
Izzy, who suffers from Glutaric aciduria type 1 (GA1), a rare but serious inherited condition which means she can’t process certain amino acids, has already raised more than £800 after doing a sponsored abseil at Lodge Hill Centre near Pulborough.
Her mum Natalie Ellis, 33, of Condor Way, Burgess Hill, said of her fundraising efforts: “It is absolutely amazing, I was so proud of her when she did it – it made me cry.
“She is only little – this was a big life experience for her. I could see she was really nervous, but she was excited too.
“When she was coming down she had the biggest smile on her face. She was really happy.”
Izzy, a pupil at Woodlands Meed school in Burgess Hill, spends three nights a week at Finches.
The facility already has a wheelchair roundabout but Izzy and the other children would love for there to be a swing there too.
“She loves being on a swing,” said mum Natalie.
“There are no wheelchair swings or wheelchair accessible parks in Burgess Hill, the closest is Horsham.
“This swing wouldn’t just be for Izzy, it would be for all the other children as well. We want to give something back to Finches – a place that has given us so much.”
Izzy, who requires 24-hour physical care, has had sepsis four times and has just had her 42nd operation.
Mum Natalie, a full-time carer, said: “She spends more time in hospital than she does at home, but she still very much has a get on and go attitude.
“In the future we don’t know what is going to happen because she is so medically fragile, but she is really happy. She is really resilient and just gets on with it.”
Natalie, who also has two other children; Bobby, 15 and Demi, aged ten, said Finches has provided an ‘outstanding service’ to her family.
“For that we can never thank them enough.” she said:
“The families that use it would love for there to be a swing that the children can use.”
Izzy needs to raise £6,000 for the swing. Visit www.gofundme.com/wheelchair-swing-for-the-finches.