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Maidenbower boy inspires dad to challenge himself

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Seven year old Jakob Harrison from Maidenbower is a very happy young man.  But it was only a few years ago that he suffered with a stammering problem.

His parents began to notice a problem when he was three.

His father Chris explained:

“We’ve found in the earlier years that adults reacted more severely than other children. However as he has started school and met new children along the way he came across the odd moment of kids not initially understanding what to do and the odd child being unkind.”

“We left it a couple of months to see if it would be something he’d grow out of which is common but when we realised it wasn’t going away we then got him an appointment”

It was during Jakob’s therapy that Chris discovered the charity Action for Stammering Children.

Chris continues:

“A stammer is a terrible thing to overcome and have the confidence to talk to people and make friends. It can also be heartbreaking as a parent to see your child struggle in this way.”

5% of children will stammer at some point in childhood with 1% of those continuing into adulthood.

For Jakob the therapy has made a huge difference.

“Jakob still stammers from time to time now. Usually in moments of tiredness, stress or excitement. He is happy with how he copes at the moment so doesn’t see the therapist regularly but does check in with them on a six monthly basis to ensure he is still fine.”

Chris continues, “Whenever he has come across any problems he knows to tell an adult and school in particular have been great at raising awareness among the class. His classmates really are understanding of him now and give him the time he needs when the stammer pops up.”

Having seen how well Jakob has done and the importance of the charity he was inspired to now help other children through the charity.

Having previously ran a marathon and other small races he is now about to take on his biggest challenge yet.  A massive double challenge starting with abseiling the ArcelorMittal Orbital Tower on 24th June 2017 and then riding the DIFC London to Brighton cycle ride in September 2017.

Chris wants to get as much support as he can and has setup a Just Giving page.

If you would like to give your support you can view his page by click here

Have you got a story for us?  Click here and get in touch or call us on 01293 850 905

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Alison’s new look after charity shave

After having her head shaved on Sunday (10 June), one Crawley woman is sporting a fresh look.

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A woman from Crawley has a new look after she donated all of her hair to the Little Princess Trust.

Alison Slade has raised just under £2,500. The money she raised will go to The Olive Tree Cancer Support Centre.

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The Olive Tree Cancer Support Centre is a local cancer support centre located by Crawley Hospital. They are the only centre in the area, serve Sussex and Surrey and are entirely run by volunteers. They offer counselling, complimentary therapies, support, advice and act as a key point of contact for cancer patients, their families, carers and children.

Alison decided to raise the money for the Crawley based support centre after her husband Graham was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2015.

Alison was required to have her hair washed 24 hours before the cut

Alison said:

“Our world changed.

“There’s nothing worse than watching someone you love suffering and not being able to do anything about it.

“These people kept me sane and supported me. I could turn up hating the world or be on my knees ready to give up. These people never judged me, patronized me or rolled their eyes. Always a warm welcome, the obligatory kettle went on and I’d leave feeling stronger.”

Alison’s ponytails – ready to donate to the Little Princess Trust.

Now, with a fresh look, Alison says:

“My head shave had a slight twist at the end. After the initial shave I went shaving foam and razor bald.”

Alison, sporting the Olive Tree logo, mid-cut

“I’m just overwhelmed by the support and generosity of everyone.

“Hardest thing is how strangers perceive me. A small child in a shop made the queue aware that I was bald. To which the mum replied ‘shhhh she’s a poorly lady’. Obviously I put her right.” 

Alison had her hair cut at Rock Paper Scissors in Ifield Green on Sunday (10 June) by Paul Newell, the co-owner.

You can still show Alison your support and donate via her JustGiving page.

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