Dad ‘astounded’ by donation to James’ appeal

JOY: James Goodge's dad Tony has expressed his joy at an anonymous �500 donation to the Free Press appeal to help James' life easier.
JOY: James Goodge's dad Tony has expressed his joy at an anonymous �500 donation to the Free Press appeal to help James' life easier.

The dad of a disabled Acton boy who is hoping to raise £10,000 to give his son a better life has expressed his thanks for an “amazing” donation.

Tony and Octavia Goodge are striving to raise funds to adapt their home in Howe Way for three-year-old son James, who has cerebral palsy.

The couple have received a £30,000 grant and the Free Press has set up an appeal to raise the additional £10,000 required to build a downstairs wetroom and bedroom to ease the pressures caused by James’ mobility issues.

The family have so far raised £1,700 through several fundraising events, and a donation of £500 into the Free Press’ appeal fund from a supporter who wishes to remain anonymous has thrilled Mr Goodge.

“It is amazing, I am dumbfounded by it,” he said.

“That is not a figure I would expect anybody to give. As a one-off donation, £500 is just astounding. I would like to extend my sincere thanks to that person.”

Mr Goodge, who works in IT near Bishops Stortford, said that the generosity of people from across the area had been clear for the family to see.

“I am really pleased with the amount of support we seem to be getting, not just from the community in Acton but also in Sudbury and Great Cornard,” he said.

“James’ godparents live in Great Cornard and they have been putting a great deal of effort in. We have lots of friends living there that have been pushing our cause as well.

“It is like we have an extended family that is putting the word out about James.”

The family’s three other children – Patrick, seven, Abigail, six, and Rebecca, one – have learned to cope with James’ disability and the fact that Octavia has had to return to work as a carer to help fund the building project.

“They know why we are doing it and understand the need for James to have his own rooms,” said Mr Goodge.

“Ever since he was diagnosed, we have explained the situation in simplified terms so they have never been sheltered from it. They just understand it as mummy and daddy needing to get some extra money for James’ bedroom.”

Mrs Goodge has organised a Body Shop party at Acton Village Hall tomorrow night from 7pm, and Tesco in Sudbury is holding a fundraising day involving collection tins with staff in fancy dress next Saturday.

Donations can be made to the Suffolk Free Press Appeal Fund at Lloyds bank: sort code 30-98-31, account number 01159754.

Anyone with fundraising ideas can call the Free Press on 01787 37271.