Staff and students at UCLan received a special thank you this week - for helping to boost a very special fund.
A generous £1,071 donation raised at a charity sale at the city university means disabled four year old Jude Houseman is now nearer getting a specialist buggy to call his own.
But more than £1,000 of donations are still needed to meet the £2,765 target to ensure Jude, from Garstang, has his own transport.
Jude, who has spent months in the Royal Manchester’s Children’s Hospital, does not produce a vital enzyme. This affects his muscles and caused his diaphragm to collapse. A tracheostomy and a ventilator helped him survive. His condition also means he has lost the ability to walk.
But thanks to a special buggy loaned by disabled charity Newlife his parents have been able to take him on trips out of hospital. The buggy has space for vital emergency equipment inlcuding an oxygen cylinder and suction machine.
Now it has been agreed Jude can come home for long weekends.
Jude's family and Newlife have been fundraising for the last few months to buy him a buggy in the knowledge the loan of the buggy was due to end tomorrow.
The fund has also been boosted by some local donations and donations from Jude's dad's work colleagues.
Jude's father Damien said: "These donations are absolutely fabulous. That's phenomenal - I'm astounded at that generosity. It's absolutely fantastic and we really, really appreciate it."
Nicola Palmer, Academic Lead for Fashion and Textiles at UCLan said: “We’re delighted to see that our pop-up jewellery charity events are directly benefitting local children such as Jude."
“When a person buys a piece of jewellery from one of our stalls, they may not even realise that they’re helping to change the lives of a family by contributing towards the essential equipment they need.
"We absolutely love working with Newlife and the fabulous team. We’ve raised £6,000 over the last 18 months for the charity and the UCLan fashion department has more exciting events planned this year.”
Jane Harries, Newlife’s Regional Fundraising Manager for the North West, said: “We are absolutely delighted by the community’s response to the appeal for the specialist buggy Jude needs – especially UCLan’s generous donation – but we urgently need to raise £1,194 to reach the full amount needed.
“Our loan equipment is constantly in need, so without the local community stepping in to help fund a permanent buggy Jude faces being unable to go outside as he has no way to transport the medical equipment he needs with him at all times.
“We would urge anyone who would still like to donate to get in touch with Newlife as soon as possible - absolutely every penny counts!”
If you can help send a cheque payable to Newlife to Newlife Charity for Disabled Children, Newlife Centre, Hemlock Way, Cannock, Staffordshire, WS11 7GF. Mark the envelope “Jude’s Fund”. Alternatively you can donate £10 by texting JUDE10 to 70070 or call Newlife on 01543 431444.