Toy appeal as fight is won for blind tot

Linzie Cutts with her sons, Leown Cowdell (ten) and three year old twins Harry (left) and Vinnie. Picture: Malcolm Billingham S0188MB
Linzie Cutts with her sons, Leown Cowdell (ten) and three year old twins Harry (left) and Vinnie. Picture: Malcolm Billingham S0188MB

AN APPEAL has been launched to help a blind tot receive his first proper play equipment - now that he will have his own special room.

Four-year old Harry Cutts is a twin with many challenging conditions that create problems not just for the brave youngster himself, but for his whole family.

Mum Linzie has battled to cope at their Brampton home, after applying for help from Rotherham Council to fund and build a much-needed property extension to their council house.

She has to carry Harry up and downstairs constantly to cater for his needs, and as he has got bigger and weightier, has had to resort to shuffling up and down stairs with her son on her knee. Harry has an under-active thyroid gland that means he gains weight easily.

The youngster also suffers from pachygyria - a rare developmental disorder of the brain, and septo-optic dysplasia, along with epilepsy and an adrenal insufficiency.

Linzie, 29, was told initially by the council that she would need to find half the funding for the £30,000 extension to her home, but felt this would be impossible and appealed against the decision five months ago. After still hearing nothing on a date given to her by the local authority she went to Rotherham and saw cabinet member Coun Rose McNeely to try and speed up the process.

Linzie said: “I was told I would have a definite decision by July 26 but it never came. It was only after I compained to Coun McNeely that I finally got the news through that the Council would pay for the full extension. then three days after that I received a formal letter of apology for the long delay.”

Work has now started on the new room that will contain a hoist for Harry and will, said Linzie: “make a whole world of difference and a much better chance of us having a really good Christmas.”

The beleaguered mum has suffered arm and back problems caused by constantly carrying Harry about the house.

The Little Hopefuls support group at Thurnscoe has now launched its own fund-raising appeal for Harry, to buy him a costly wall-mounted musical interaction toy for his new bedroom.

Michael Atwal-Brice of Little Hopefuls said: “We’re so pleased for Linzie and Harry that the extension has fnally got underway. We had to find a suitable sensory toy for Harry to suit his condition, and particularly taking his blindness into consideration. He will be able to touch the wall board and trigger different sounds and music.”

The group will hold a fundraising fun day on September 1 from 10am to 4pm at Houghton Road Community Centre, Thurnscoe. There will be a bouncy castle, games, stalls and refreshments, and any donations towards Harry’s appeal will be welcomed.

Little Hopefuls recently spent £4000 on educational toys for the playgroup that runs on Saturday mornings at Houghton Road.

The support-cum-play group has already helped a number of youngsters with special needs in the Dearne area, by fundraising towards specialised equipment to make their lives easier, or for toys that cater specifically for particular conditions.

Harry’s extension will be completed in 10 to 12 weeks, the family have been told.

And two functions have taken place for him, at Cortonwood WMC and Station Road WMC at Wombwell, towards decorating his new room-in-progress. To help with the toy appeal, tel. 07595 035596.