Daventry mum launches new venture to help families of disabled children
The mother of a severely disabled child from Daventry has founded a new charitable venture that will provide vital help to families suffering from similar circumstances.
Hayley Charlesworth, 36 of Newnham, has created a brand-new fundraising and support network, called Harry's Pals, which was officially launched on January 18.
In March 2015, Hayley’s son Harry suffered a number of strokes prior to being born, leaving him with severe brain damage that resulted in him having quadriplegic cerebral palsy and many other complex needs.
In response, Hayley and her family set-up The Helping Harry Trust, which raises funds that contribute towards Harry’s ongoing care, including specialist equipment and extensive physiotherapy.
Hayley is now leveraging the success of the trust to launch Harry’s Pals, which will help to fund bespoke counselling sessions and respite breaks.
Hayley said: “Our mission – via Harry’s Pals – is to break down barriers and provide the necessary support to these families.
"We are passionate to do what we can, whether that’s helping the family enjoy a break, providing a parent mentor for them who has walked the same path or fund bespoke counselling sessions.”
Harry’s Pals will also manage a support network and 'buddy-up system' where it aims to match parents, whose child has been told they have a disability or is seriously ill, with other parents who are more experienced.
Hayley added: “The Helping Harry Trust has been an amazing support to my family.
"Quite frankly, I’m not sure without the extra help how we would have coped, it has been a lifeline. The sad reality is that there are so many parents out there that have a child that is seriously ill or disabled that are not receiving any support.
"I speak to many parents that I have come to meet through Harry that are just about existing. They have no break from their new reality, are not dealing with the impact to their mental health and are left feeling completely isolated with no emotional support from anyone that really understands what it’s like to be in their position."
More than 120 people gathered at Fawsley Hall for the official launch, where top prizes auctioned included holidays in Portugal and the Lake District, which raised a total of £11,699.
Moving forward, Harry’s Pals, which will run alongside The Helping Harry Trust, will be welcoming donations via its GoFundMe page.