Families share in success of Blackpool charity’s cash giveaway

Esme on her trike with little sister Freya and dad Craig
Esme on her trike with little sister Freya and dad Craig

It’s a one in a million chance which helped two families share in a Blackpool charity’s cash giveaway.

Louise Humphreys was over the moon when she was given a £1,500 grant to buy a new trike for daughter Lily.

Lily Humphries

Lily Humphries

The six-year-old has cerebal palsy and suffers from epilepsy and severe developmental issues.

The Breck school pupil had outgrown her specially adapted trike.

Louise bid for cash through The Gazette’s £25,000 Swallowdale giveaway.

And a chance encounter means she’s not only been able to get her own daughter on the road, but help another resort family.

I saw the Swallowdale charity by chance in The Gazette, we never thought they would choose us

A chance encounter on Facebook led to a blossoming friendship with Emma Lee, whose two-year-old daughter Esme is now riding around on Lily’s old wheels.

Louise, 42, said: “Lily had outgrown her old trike and we were looking at £1,500 to replace it.

“We were recommended she get one as it helps with her muscle development.

“We’d been fundraising for six months for this

Esme Lee on 
her trike at Stanley Park

Esme Lee on her trike at Stanley Park

“I saw the Swallowdale charity by chance in The Gazette, we never thought they would choose us.

“To get the cash for Lily was wonderful, but to be able to thank somebody else is just amazing.”

Louise explained how she came across another mum, looking to help her daughter in the same way.

She said: “I was in a local Facebook chat group and was shown a Just Giving page for another little girl.

Tyler Wraith Kenyon

Tyler Wraith Kenyon

“I could see they were trying to raise money for a trike and when I looked more closely it was precisely the trike Lily had been using.

“I got in touch with the mum and said she might want to apply to Swallowdale, time had run out so I looked for ways we could help.

“We had arranged with the company to part exchange but I got in touch with Swallowdale and the providers and they agreed we could get both the new trike and get this one refurbished.

“I can’t thank them enough.”

And Louise is hoping she has made a friend for life in Emma.

She said: “We’ve had the family over to the house for Esme’s fitting, she’s fantastic and I get on with Emma so well. It’s just wonderful this has come about, that this money has been able to help not one local family, but two.”

Emma described the gift as a ‘one in a million’ moment.

She said:” We had just days left on the Just Giving page and we hadn’t raised anywhere near enough, I think we’d raised about £250. We needed a miracle and we got it. I was contacted on Facebook by a family with a trike, out of the blue.

“Not only that but it was the precise model we’d been looking for. It was a one in a million chance.”

Lily’s new trike arrived lastweek and, although Esme’s family are waiting for a few modifications to be made, they’ve already been able to get their little girl out and about.

Esme, who also has Cerebal Palsy, took a ride in Stanley Park with her twin sister Freya.

Emma, 30, said: “We haven’t been able to get her pedalling yet but we are able to push her on the trike and she loves it.

“We promised the girls we’d get them trikes and Freya has had to wait until Esme could have hers as well.

“Both the girls are so happy. I can’t thank Louise enough and I think I’ve made a friend for life.”

For the fifth year in a row, we teamed up with Swallowdale Children’s Trust who put up the cash to help children and young people in Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre. This year there was £25,000 up for grabs, which was split between a range of deserving winners. It brings the total awarded since 2013 to £80,000.

Among the worthy recipients of the cash was brave Tyler Kenyon, eight, who suffers from mutiple conditions including cerebral palsy and brain damage.

After his big sister, Abbie, applied to Swallowdale, the family was given £5,000 to adapt the family home in Thornton to meet his needs.

Who have we helped?

Dozens of young people across the Fylde coast benefited from the Gazette’s Swallowdale giveway.

For the fifth year in a row, we teamed up with Swallowdale Children’s Trust who put up the cash to help children and young people in Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre.

This year there was £25,000 up for grabs, which was split between a range of deserving winners. It brings the total awarded since 2013 to £80,000.

The biggest single beneficiary was brave Tyler Kenyon, eight, who suffers from mutiple conditions including cerebral palsy and brain damage.

After his big sister, Abbie, applied to Swallowdale, the family was given £5,000 to adapt the family home in Thornton to meet his needs.

The family are continuing their fundraising efforts as they look to raise £30,000 to build a wetroom and bedroom.

They have set up a charity, Tyler’s Brighter Future and continue to fundraise.

Mum Tori said: “We are so grateful to Swallowdale.

“The money is in the bank now and we are continuing our fundraising efforts.

“We’ve another big event at the Village Hotel next month and we will continue to raise funds.”

Tyler, who is a pupil at RedMarsh School in Thornton, is cared for by Tori and Geoff, who works as the operations and venue manager at Fleetwood Town’s Poolfoot training ground.

He was nominated by his 13-year-old sister Abbie

Tyler has two other sisters, Lauren, 16, Phoebe, 14.