Sir Bobby Robson Auction gets Ipswich three-year-old George Woodward a new wheelchair

George Woodward, three, with his mum Laura Barber, dad Lee Woodward and little sister Ivy, is receiv

George Woodward, three, with his mum Laura Barber, dad Lee Woodward and little sister Ivy, is receiving funds for a new wheelchair. - Credit: Su Anderson

One young boy’s family are celebrating today after the Sir Bobby Robson online auction raised enough money to buy him a new power wheelchair.

The two-week auction came to a close last night and brought in more than £170,000 for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, the League Managers’ Association Charity, the GeeWizz charitable foundation and West Suffolk Hospital Charity.

Three-year-old George Woodward from Ipswich, who lives with a rare and incurable condition, was chosen as one of the beneficiaries by the GeeWizz charitable foundation, set up by auction founder and Suffolk-based Gina Long.

At 21 months old, George was diagnosed with Type 2 spinal muscular atrophy, a condition that affects the spinal cord, causes muscle weakness and leads to severe disability.

George’s mother, Laura Barber, of Lagonda Drive, said the new wheelchair would allow George to be more independent.

“It’s going to make a massive difference not just to him but to the whole family,” Miss Barber said. “It’s going to allow him to do things that other three-year-old’s can do and join in with his sister and other children as well as little things like touching the floor on his own and getting things off the shelf.”

Miss Barber said she had been touched by the personal messages of support and donations she had received from people since the launch of the auction.

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“It’s amazing to see your son pictured alongside Bobby Robson, an icon,” added Miss Barber, who also has a 22-month-old daughter, Ivy. “We are so happy, we can’t believe it.”

Miss Barber, who lives with George and Ivy’s father, Lee Woodward, said she hoped the auction would raise awareness of the family’s ongoing fundraising campaign to help provide George with everything he needs in the future.

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