Support floods in for family as appeal gets off to bright start

HAPPY CHAPPY: James keeps smiling despite needing a walking frame.
HAPPY CHAPPY: James keeps smiling despite needing a walking frame.

A couple attempting to raise £10,000 to improve the independence of their disabled son say they have been inundated with support.

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

The couple, of Howe Way, who also have three other children – Patrick, seven, Abigail, six, and 11-month-old Rebecca – want to create a downstairs wet room and bedroom for James.

They have received a £30,000 grant, but are still around £10,000 short of the total needed.

Last week, the Free Press launched an appeal to help the family meet their target.

“We have been surprised by how many people are willing to help,” said Mrs Goodge.

“Lots of people have approached us with ideas and it means a lot when someone gives a donation.”

On Saturday, the couple ran a stall at Acton fete and raised £161.

The Maldon Grey pub in Great Cornard has offered to start a collection tin for the appeal, while a buy-a-brick scheme offering people the chance to support the fundraising has been set up.

“This work is something we have been thinking about for a long time,” said Mrs Goodge, who has returned to work as a care assistant in a bid to boost funds.

“Life is very challenging at the moment, but this work would give James so much more independence and help his development. He would be able to take himself off to bed when he wants and play in a safe environment.”

Planning permission is currently being sought for the scheme and, if approved, work could start in mid-September. The work would be expected to take eight weeks to finish.