A Codsall Dad and his colleagues grew moustaches this month to help raise £50,000 for surgery and aftercare for his three-year-old son.
Nick England, 41, and nine of his colleagues at Trailfinders in Birmingham grew their facial hair for the fund for three-year-old James for the third year in a row. Chairman and founder of Trailfinders Mike Gooley agreed to match the amount of any funds raised – meaning that this year the event raised over £10,000, including the matchfunding.
James was born ten weeks early and spent the first five weeks of his life in intensive care. Aged 15 months he was diagnosed with Spastic Diplegia Cerebral Palsy. He has spasticity in both his legs and arms which can be uncomfortable and restricts his movements. He cannot sit unaided or walk, but he can bunny-hop crawl and almost catch his big brother Edward, aged 5.
James is currently on the waiting list for selective dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) surgery at Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool and the family need to raise the funds for this as well as specialist equipment and physiotherapy. It will not be covered by the NHS, but his neurosurgeon believes that the procedure will improve James’ quality of life and reduce his pain. It may also help him to walk.
Nick said: ‘It’s great that my colleagues have got behind me again. Obviously this year was very different – we are all working from home and some of us are furloughed, so there was none of the usual comparing hair growth in the office! But we kept things going on social media, Zoom and the like so it was a fun event even so.’
‘I am of course very grateful to Trailfinders for agreeing to the match funding again.’
The England family are being supported by Tonbridge-based Tree of Hope, a charity which helps families fundraise for children like James with healthcare needs. To donate to James’ fund, visit https://www.treeofhope.org.uk/james-england/