The Evening Post is celebrating the region’s unsung community heroes. In the second in our series, Natalie Walker speaks to Sally Curzon-Smith, who, despite having her hands full looking after her disabled son, makes time to support others.
“Just because your child is disabled, it doesn’t mean the end of the world - it is just something different to deal with.”
These are the words Sally uses when providing guidance to other parents who have children with disabilities.
Realising how much of a challenge it is to look after her five-year-old son, Rory, who is unable to speak or move about, she took it upon herself to boost morale and pass on useful information through her Facebook page - Rory’s Rec Fund - Journey of Hope.
The 35-year-old, of Fulwood, says: “Rory was born at 24 weeks and had a lot of complications. He is non-verbal and non-mobile and he has vision problems.
“It is very full on as Rory can’t do anything himself, so his dad, Henry and I do everything for him. Rory is on a support programme - Family Hope Center, based in America, which looks at brain development.
She is a true inspiration giving her time to always help others
“He has one-on-one support at St Anthony’s Primary School, so when he is there I try to help other people out. I have struggled myself and I don’t want anyone else struggling.
“There is not always been someone that knows what you are going through.
“I like to document Rory’s journey and show all the positives on the Facebook page.
“There are about 10 or 15 people I communicate with on my page. I am just there to listen to them and get them to the right support groups and networks.
“There are a lot of nurseries in Preston but there is no handbook that tells where is suitable for disabled children. Nobody really knows.
“I don’t claim to have all the answers but I can offer help.”
Sally’s selflessness doesn’t end there.
She also volunteers at Preston North End, collecting money for Rainbow House and helps out at Be Brave Bears, which makes teddies for children who are terminally ill or have life limiting illnesses.
The former secondary school teacher adds: “I cannot commit fully but I volunteer as and when I can. At PNE I help out with the charity side of things as we do a lot of collections for Rainbow House. I also help out with Be Brave Bears, where someone can nominate a child that deserves a bear.”
Sally was nominated by her friend Anita Patel, who says: “This woman is just amazing. She has her own battles to contend with and yet she always makes time for others. She supports so many people with disabled children offers advice care and support.
“It is a rare act to find these days someone who will just listen and support you.
“She faces many battles herself but never ceases to amaze me how thoughtful and kind and strong she is.
“She is a true inspiration giving her time to always help others.
“I know a lot of people who wouldn’t have been where they are today with our Sally’s inputs.”