Tradesman offers free help to boost appeal

THANK YOU: AFC Sudbury midfielder Michael Shinn with the Goodge family at their home in Acton.
THANK YOU: AFC Sudbury midfielder Michael Shinn with the Goodge family at their home in Acton.

An Acton couple’s efforts to raise an estimated £10,000 to make their disabled son’s life easier have been given a huge boost by a local tradesman.

Three-year-old James Goodge was born with cerebral palsy and parents Tony and Octavia need to raise the money to help pay for the building of a downstairs bedroom and wet room for him at their home in Howe Way in Acton.

With the total raised so far hovering at around the £4,000 mark, the Free Press appeal to help the family has received a timely boost, with Michael Shinn, owner of M Shinn Flooring and an AFC Sudbury midfielder, stepping forward with a generous offer to supply and fit the watertight flooring in the washroom and, depending on their needs, the bedroom free of charge.

“I saw the appeal on Twitter and thought I could help,” said Mr Shinn, 28, who lives in Haverhill.

“This project is obviously very important to them and they will need all the help they can get. I am sure if the shoe was on the other foot they would help me.”

Mrs Goodge thanked Mr Shinn for the offer of his expertise, which would have cost around £400.

“It isn’t cheap and it’s not a quick job, so we are so grateful that he is doing this to help us,” she said.

“It takes a certain kind of person to see this appeal and put their hands into their own pockets and say ‘I will do something to help’.

“We are just so thankful for all the support we are getting. Times are especially hard for small businesses and the fact that he is willing to help us is amazing.”

Mrs Goodge said more than 100 people attended an event featuring clairvoyant Fiona Nicholls at Easterns Station Lounge and she estimated that around £800 was raised. Sudbury’s Club Theo, which supports people made single through bereavement, also donated £50 to the cause.

The Free Press is appealing to other business owners and tradesmen who can follow Mr Shinn’s example and help the Goodge family with their project.

Any work or materials that can be supplied for free will help reduce the couple’s costs. They hope to receive the quote for overall costs at the end of the tendering process on November 11.

If you can help the Goodge family provide a better life for James, call the Free Press on 01787 375271 or the Goodges on 01787 580126.

Donations can be made at the Free Press office in the Borehamgate precinct, with cheques payable to Suffolk Free Press Appeal Fund.