Raising money for specialised physiotherapy for Freya Bailey from Irlam, Manchester, ‘Scooter Grannies’ was dreamt up by Freya’s father Darren Bailey, who came up with the idea in 2016 to fund an operation which helped ease Freya’s pain.
Freya was born with two holes in her heart and also has cerebral palsy and epilepsy. Her physiotherapy, which is not available on the NHS, costs around £1,000 per month. Darren, 50, has continued to fundraise for physio which keeps her mobile enables her to ride her adapted bike and swim.
"Originally, I was thinking of some kind of event with us dressed as superheroes, but my friend Olive, who is 80, said ‘everyone does that, why not dress as grannies?’” said Darren. “So I took myself to the charity shop, bought some outfits, and Scooter Grannies was born.
"As ever, I’m grateful to all my loyal mates who take part in Scooter Grannies every year, as well as the local businesses and individuals who donate money,” he adds. “The funds raised continue to provide physiotherapy and equipment for Freya to make life as comfortable and pain-free as possible.”
Gearing up for tomorrow’s 17-mile journey from Preston North End’s Deepdale Stadium to Blackpool town centre, this will be the Scooter Grannies’ fifth event. In the past, they have gone from Irlam to Blackpool, from Irlam to Chester, from Huddersfield to Irlam, and from Anfield to Old Trafford.
"As well as her ongoing physiotherapy, which costs £240 each week, I am constantly having to buy or upgrade equipment as she grows and her needs change – recently I’ve spent £3,000 on a off-road buggy so we can do things like go for walks in the woods,” said Darren. “She’s nearly 12 now and will be wanting more independence, so I’m keen to get her an electric wheelchair but that can be anything from £12,000 to £20,000.
“Thank you to the local community for still keeping Freya in your thoughts,” Darren added. “There is no cure for cerebral palsy - no magic wand, just a family’s resilience against the odds to raise the funds trying to give Freya the best they can.”
To donate, go to https://www.treeofhope.org.uk/freyaslittlelegs/