Busby family celebrate charity success

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FUNDRAISING mum Debi Hall is delighted to have raised over £17,000 for a charity she started on behalf of her daughter.

Debi, from Busby, launched Help Me Communicate in 2011 – a charity for children suffering from Rett syndrome.

The nursery nurse’s five-year-old, Shona, was diagnosed with the condition in 2008, leaving her unable to walk, use her hands or talk, despite being aware of all going on around her.

The aim of Debi’s charity is to provide support for families affected, and in the process fund as many Tobii eye gaze computers as possible for Shona and other sufferers in Scotland to use as a means of communicating with their families.

Speaking to The Extra in April, she explained: “The one thing all sufferers and their families have in common is communication difficulties – no speech, no functional hand use for signing.

“Hopefully this will give Shona the ability to speak to us”.

Now, following a fundraising day at Williamwood golf club and a big new benefactor, Debi estimates that Help Me Communicate has raised between £17,000 and £20,000 to date.

She told The Extra: “The golf day at Williamwood was a dramatic success – everyone turned out to play even though the wind was howling and all the guests donated generously to the raffle and auctions.

“I am forever grateful to the committee who organised the prizes and set up the day – their enthusiasm and hard work made it such a huge success”.

The charity also received a welcome boost after Debi and Shona appeared in The Extra in spring, as British Telecom contacted them offering support – in the form of a £6,000 cheque.

Debi continued: “I would like to say a very big thank you to BT’S Jim Harvey and all the employees for donating throughout the year – their money makes a huge difference to children like Shona.

“I’m still in shock at the fantastic grand total, as it not only means that my Shona’s Tobii is on order, but that many children suffering from Rett syndrome will be helped too.

“I really have high hopes that this will be a new beginning for me and my family”.

To find out more about Rett syndrome and Debi’s fundraising efforts, visit Help Me Communicate.