This Christmas many families with disabled children won’t be asking for the latest toys and gadgets but will be asking for help towards essential Footsteps physiotherapy using the renowned ‘Spider’ because the best present they could give their child is the chance to walk.
Footsteps Foundation is launching a Christmas campaign asking the public, local businesses and trusts to give a disabled child the gift of physiotherapy as part of their journey of learning to walk. An extraordinary apparatus called ‘The Spider’ is used at the Footsteps centre, along with traditional physiotherapy, to enable children to experience freedom to move on their own and for physiotherapists to implement a full course of exercises in any chosen position.
Nick Streeter from Witney whose daughter Chloe attends Footsteps, says: “Chloe has really benefitted from coming to Footsteps. The best present we could give her is the ability to walk unaided so we channel everything into making that happen!”
Pip Hoyer Millar, the Founder of Footsteps Foundation explains: “We set up Footsteps Foundation to help families access intensive physiotherapy at the Footsteps Centre. Families also often fundraise themselves although how they have the time I never understand! This year we want to make it easier for those families and do a big fundraising push at Christmas.”
“Having a child with special needs is incredibly difficult emotionally, physically and financially although parents find the rewards overwhelmingly wonderful. The fact is you would always wish your child could play, talk and walk in the way they are supposed to. We are hoping the public and businesses are going to share our belief that Christmas is a wonderful time for remembering how lucky you and your family are and how we can always help vulnerable people around us.”
Another parent Richard Towers says: “We will be asking our family to buy Oscar a session at Footsteps for Christmas to help pay for this essential therapy. The best thing is that it will actually seem like a gift for Oscar because he loves going! He loves the feeling of independence in the Footsteps Spider and enjoys all the games they play whilst exercising!”
The charity has raised £301,000 in two years to help provide intensive physiotherapy. Already fully booked for much of 2011, the Warborough based Footsteps Centre has tripled in size in the last two years to cope with the demand.