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Maidenbower boy inspires dad to challenge himself



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

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Crawley firefighters undertake marathon walk in memory of fallen colleague



Some of the team from Crawley Fire Station with the training mannequins.

Firefighters from Crawley Fire Station are preparing to make their way to the seaside on foot in memory of a much-loved former colleague.

But the 20 firefighters won’t be completing the walk to Brighton seafront on their own, as they will be carrying a few training dummies with them, weighing in at around 30kg.

They will be raising money for The Fire Fighters Charity and The Stroke Association in memory of former Watch Manager Simon Constable who passed away in April 2019 having suffered a stroke. Simon served with WSFRS for 29 years.

The crew have been busy training for the 30 mile walk, which they will complete on Saturday 8 August, and are hoping to smash their fundraising target along the way.

Green Watch Manager Neil Fairhall said:

“With it almost being the summer holidays, we thought what better way to raise some money for two fantastic causes than a jolly down to the seaside? Though I imagine after a couple of miles in carrying those training dummies, the walk will be anything but jolly.

“But the whole point of this fundraiser is to push ourselves, and hopefully raise a decent amount of money for The Fire Fighters Charity and The Stroke Association.

“Both charities mean a lot to us at Crawley Fire Station – The Fire Fighters Charity provides a real lifeline for serving and former firefighters in their hour of need, and The Stroke Association does some fantastic work to support those affected by stroke. Having lost Simon last year, this is extremely poignant for us as a watch and station, and we hope to raise a worthy amount in his memory.”

The challenge comes after all fire stations within West Sussex were challenged by Station Manager Phil Maynard to come up with innovative ways of raising money for The Fire Fighters Charity, which supports serving and former firefighters as well as their families in times of need.

Phil has set the county’s 25 fire station’s the ambitious target of raising £25,000 by the end of the year for the charity. Already, the East Grinstead crew have managed to raise £1,670 for the charity after climbing the equivalent of Mount Everest in the station yard.

To support the Crawley crew in their fundraising efforts visit: 

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