Martlesham school's walk to success

A MOTHER today thanks youngsters who raised money for a charity that has helped since her daughter was born with Down's Syndrome.

By NAOMI CASSIDY

naomi.cassidy@eveningstar.co.uk>

A MOTHER today thanks youngsters who raised money for a charity that has helped since her daughter was born with Down's Syndrome.

When Dee Puttock, of Main Road, Martlesham, gave birth to her sixth child, Hope, in March, she did not realise the hardships that lay ahead.

However, she said she has got through it thanks to support from the charity Local Opportunities and Awareness of Down's Syndrome (LOADS).

As three of her daughters attend Beacon Hill School in Martlesham, the headteacher Alan Murray decided to make LOADS the school's charity for the year and organised a sponsored walk, which raised an impressive £912.

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LOADS is a support group for people across East Anglia who have Down's Syndrome, their families and carers.

Mrs Puttock, 36, said: “I had quite a bad experience when Hope was born because I was left in the lurch.

“I did not know she was going to have Down's Syndrome so it was a big shock.

“I have so many friends that help me and have had so much support from LOADS.”

Hope was born with Down's Syndrome and had an 11mm hole in her heart. She was forced to undergo life-saving surgery as her heart and liver began to fail.

Hope is through the worst of it now, though she is still in and out of hospital for appointments with speech and occupational therapists.

Mrs Puttock, who is also mother to Mark, 21, Rhianna, 13, Megan, ten, Cara, nine, and Paige, six, added: “Hope has changed my life completely. She is an inspiration.

“She makes us feel grateful that we still have her here. I don't know what will happen in the future. We will see how things go. It will be Hope's first Christmas so we are looking forward to that.”

Every pupil at Beacon Hill took part in the walk around the school field and participants had to walk as many laps as they could in 25 minutes.

Headteacher Alan Murray said: “Everyone was very generous. When we handed the cheque over, Hope was brought in and there was a lovely display of friendship. It's like the school has almost adopted her.”

Sharon Hobbs, vice chairman of LOADS said: “On behalf of the charity I would like to thank the children, staff and parents of Beacon Hill for their donation. I know they worked really hard to raise the money.

“The money raised will go towards the updating of our parent packs which are given to new parents of Down's syndrome babies at hospitals and doctors surgeries.”

Are you raising money for a good cause? Let us know. Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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