Valiant charity efforts raise vital funds for sick children

Published Thursday, 18th June 2015

Photo of Project 49 members holding their Team Enchanted banner

Energetic adults with learning disabilities in Southend have raised a tremendous £1792 for Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Energetic adults with learning disabilities in Southend have raised a tremendous £1,792 for Great Ormond Street Hospital.

They enthusiastically took part in a week of sponsored activities after learning that the renowned London hospital for children was treating Sophia, the baby daughter of Nina Chant who works with them.

Nina is a staff member at Project 49 in Alexandra Street, Southend, which provides day activities for adults with learning disabilities and the charity idea was suggested by a Project 49 member during a meeting with fellow service users.

Joanne Fitzpatrick said: “I thought it would be a good idea for us to raise money for a charity so I suggested a sponsored swim. When I heard about Sophia being ill I thought raising money for Great Ormond Street would be a great idea. I managed to swim 800m, which was really quite tough.”

As well as swimming, the other sponsored activities involved dog walking, cycling, swimming, a gym-a-thon, walking, horse-riding, a basketball hoop-a-thon and a cake sale.

Nina, 29, was thrilled that Project 49 members joined in so willingly, and was very grateful indeed to their family and friends and workmates who supported them with such generous sponsorship.

She said: “We’d like to give massive thank you to Project 49 for raising the money for Great Ormond Street Hospital.

“We really appreciate everything they have done and the amount they have raised is amazing. We are really happy they had fun with all the events.

“The money will help so many other children just like it will Sophia.”

Nina, her husband, Leon, and seven-month-old Sophia, and Grandad Russell have also been involved in fund-raising themselves, by taking part in a recent fun run in Battersea Park for Great Ormond Street Hospital.

They dubbed themselves Team Enchanted, so the Project 49 members made a Team Enchanted banner for their fund-raising too.

Little Sophia is under the close care of Great Ormond Street Hospital as she is currently undergoing a year-long course of chemotherapy to treat a low grade brain tumour.

Cllr James Moyies, Executive Councillor for Health and Adult Social Care, said: “This is a tremendous achievement by members of Project 49 who have all challenged themselves to make extra efforts to raise this terrific total to help the hospital’s life-saving work. Their enthusiastic involvement in this venture to support one of their staff members is an inspiration.”