Ipswich mother appealing for help raising £50,000 to create a home for two-year-old George Woodward

Laura Barber, Lee Woodward and George Woodward

Laura Barber, Lee Woodward and George Woodward - Credit: Su Anderson

A mother-of-two is appealing for help to fund vital developments to her house to make it livable for her young son who suffers from a rare genetic condition.

Laura Barber, 30, of Lagonda Drive, Ipswich, has been fighting for over a year to get an extension to her two bedroom semi-detached house for her son, George Woodward, aged two.

The extension would include a disabled bathroom wet room, a purpose-built bedroom and a lift for wheelchair-bound George to get upstairs independently.

The tot was just 21-months-old when he was diagnosed with type 2 spinal muscular atrophy, a condition that affects the spinal cord, causing muscle weakness and leading to severe disability.

Miss Barber said: “We carry him everywhere. We carry him upstairs, he can’t get into his bedroom by himself, he can’t get in and out of the bath – he’s coming up for three and he’s a clever little boy so he knows he can’t get around.”

Miss Barber and her partner Lee Woodward, 32, also have a one-year-old daughter, Ivy, who has to sleep in their bedroom because George has a large electric hospital bed that fills the room.

Ipswich Borough Council has written to the family to say it is willing to consider the extension scheme for a Disabled Facilities Grant of up to £30,000, provided the development adheres to certain conditions.

Most Read

The couple’s architect has estimated that the build will cost between £75,000 and £80,000, meaning the family will have to raise around £50,000.

Miss Barber said: “It’s a big amount of money, it’s a huge amount of pressure, it’s so important that his home life is as normal as possible but the pressure on your shoulders to raise that much money is just ridiculous.

“I can handle anything else but not having this house right for George is just really upsetting. I fight for anything else he needs but I feel like I’m losing this fight for him and I’m not getting anywhere.”

She said George’s condition is progressive, which means he getting is weaker and soon he will not be able to push himself around in his manual wheelchair. A power wheelchair costs around £25,000, which the family will also have to raise funds for.

To donate, visit www.georgewoodwardfund.weebly.com