Trowbridge mum Emily Wadds is backing our appeal on behalf of Stepping Stones, because of the essential work they do in helping disabled children.
Mrs Wadds’ four-year-old daughter Lydia has a rare form of epilepsy called Lennox Gastaut Syndrome and struggles with seizures. She was referred to Stepping Stones, based in Broadcloth Lane, Trowbridge, when she was 11 months old.
Lydia, whose condition has left her with partial sight and unable to stand up unaided, attends the school two days a week.
Mrs Wadds said Stepping Stones has provided a huge help to Lydia as well as herself, husband Matthew, 36, and the couple’s other daughter, five-year-old Annie.
Mrs Wadds, 42, of Eastbourne Road, said: “The initial contact I had with manager Debbie Wickham was so calming as she was so knowledgeable, and that phone call changed our lives forever.”
To say thanks for the help Stepping Stones has provided her daughter, Mrs Wadds now volunteers at the centre and passes on her experience to help parents who have had their child referred to the charity.
Stepping Stones needs to raise £50,000 a year to survive, but earlier this month it lost £10,000 of vital funding from Wiltshire Council after the Government withdrew its Aiming High For Disabled Children grants.
Mrs Wadds is backing the Times’ Give Us A Chance appeal, which is aiming to help make up some of the shortfall.
She said: “Stepping Stones is a wonderful community asset and I hope everyone supports this campaign and allows it to survive. It is a lifeline and without it we might have ended up having a breakdown or needing respite support for Lydia, which would have cost the council a lot more.”
Later this year, to help prevent some of Lydia’s seizures she will be having brain surgery and after her recovery she will be leaving Stepping Stones and starting at Larkrise School, in Trowbridge, who help children with severe learning difficulties.
Mrs Wadds said: “I have no doubt that Stepping Stones believe in Lydia and they have not written her off. We are very grateful to them and I’m sure they’ll be in tears when she leaves.
“The staff have become friends and part of the reason I volunteer is to stay part of that wonderful community of people.”