Join Santa Dash to give kids support

Santa Dash for Brainwave
Santa Dash for Brainwave

A charity that helps children with special needs and disabilities to live life much more independently is reaching out across Sheffield and Doncaster.

To help Brainwave achieve its goal of supporting an estimated 5,000 plus children who need its help in South Yorkshire, a first fundraiser is planned and anyone who can walk or run can get involved.

Lily May and Rebecca Earp

Lily May and Rebecca Earp

A sense of humour is needed, as to take part in the simple 5k challenge to take place at Tickhill, you must wear a dashing red Santa suit.

The December 5 Santa Dash fun run is not a timed event and people of all ages and abilities can sign up. All proceeds from the event will benefit local children.

Brainwave’s head of regional fundraising Richard Clarke is keen to sign more participants to add to the 60-plus runners who were quick off the mark. He said: “The Santa Dash will be brilliant fun. There will be Christmas music and a special appearance by the ‘real Santa’ to hand medals to all runners.

“Afterwards there will be refreshments in the cricket club and live music. It’s a brilliant way to help local children. We are reaching out to Sheffield and Doncaster businesses, organisations and individuals to take part in the Dash.”

Amelia Poppy Wagstaff of Tickhill

Amelia Poppy Wagstaff of Tickhill

The event is co-sponsored by Sheffield and Doncaster firm Irwin Mitchell and Rotherham-based AES Seal. They are keen to help youngsters such as two-year old Amelia Poppy of Tickhill who has a genetic condition, Koolen de Vries Syndrome.

Brainwave devised an exercise programme especially for Amelia. Her mum, Claire Wagstaff said: “Amelia has benefited greatly from the brainwave programme; she has made amazing progress with her mobility, communication skills and overall development.

“Through attending Brainwave we, as her parents, felt assured that Amelia was receiving the right therapy to optimise her potential.”

Lily May Earp is a four-year old with Chromosome 5 deletion and developmental delay. rainwave developed a programme to allow the youngster to communicate more easily, to acquire more strength, improve her general co-ordination and greater mobility.

Mum Rebecca, of Maltby, said: “Lily had her annual review at school and is doing really well.

“She’s meeting most of her targets. She uses a walker now and can walk all the way down the corridor at school. She loves it!”

The work Brainwave does with children with difficulties clearly has results.

To help more little ones get the help they need and deserve, register via the charity http://www.brainwave.org.uk/yorkshire-santa-dash/ website.

Registration places cost £15 per adult, £10 for runners under 14-years (who must be with an adult), with Santa suits and medals provided to all who join in.

Forms are also available at KSM Dry Cleaners/Card Shop in Tickhill. Children who can gain from Brainwave’s help include those with cerebral palsy, Down’s Syndrome, autism, genetic disorders and developmental delay.

Most of those receiving help are aged from three months to 12 years.

“It can be a huge relief to families when they find us. Most are on an emotional journey and can be daunted by their situation,” said Richard.

There are currently around 600 children on the programme, with about 50 of that number living in South Yorkshire. If a Brainwave programme is started early in a child’s life, the stronger its chance of helping, added Richard. The charity has a range of therapies and will assess a child to see if and how it can help.

Every child’s programme is individual and tailored exactly to suit them and their particular needs. Parents too are coached to help their sons or daughters with a regular exercise regime they can do with them.

Families supported by Brainwave will be around after the Santa Dash at Tickhill, to talk to people and show their appreciation to the charity.