Ipswich/Sproughton: Dad walking across hot coals for love of Olivia

IPSWICH/SPROUGHTON: They say that a parent would walk over hot coals for their children – and Steve Cole is today preparing to do just that!

The father-of-two and fundraising enthusiast will take part in an exhilarating fire walk in hope of raising plenty of cash for the Dame Vera Lynn Trust’s School for Parents.

The school, which is based in Burstall Lane, Sproughton, offers specialist services and teaches daily living skills for families of young children with cerebral palsy and other disabilities.

On February 16, adrenaline-junkies will walk across hot coals for the charity at the event, which is being supported by celebrity farmer Jimmy Doherty and taking place at his farm in Wherstead.

Mr Cole’s young daughter Olivia, who has been diagnosed with severe hyper-mobility syndrome, has been attending the school for more than a year.

When the three-year-old first started at the school, she wasn’t able to walk - however through the hard work and patience of the teachers she now loves using her feet.

Her 31-year-old daredevil dad, of Pinewood, Ipswich, told The Evening Star that he wanted to do something out of the ordinary and challenging as a way to repay the school for their dedication to helping his daughter.

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He said: “I decided that if you are going to something, it has to be a challenge.

“Most people would be really scared to do this so I thought I would try and raise as much as I could and that people would definitely want to support such a feat.

“More than anything I wanted to give something back to the school, which helps families across the whole of Suffolk.”

Mr Cole’s fiance Karen Ashcroft, 27, said that she was delighted that her partner was doing the challenge in honour of their daughter.

She said: “I think that he really wants to raise awareness of the school and to get the word out about what they do.

“The school and the staff are just amazing, Olivia really loves going there and she is a lucky, lucky girl.

“I can’t praise the staff enough for everything they have done.”

Sara Baxter, regional fundraiser for the Dame Vera Lynn Trust, urged more fundraisers to get on board with the challenge.

She added: “The event will be taking place at Jimmy’s Farm and we are delighted to have him supporting the charity.”

n Are you taking part in a charity event for a special reason? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or alternatively you can e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.