Wealdstone FC sports therapist James Smith has launched a unique way to raise money for his 8 year old nephew Sam. Sam was born with quadraplegic Cerebral Palsy, which means he is restricted to a wheelchair to get him around. He has had 11 major operations in his short life and his bravery is immense.
James has come up with the idea of asking people to donate unnwanted replica football and sports team shirts, which can then be resold to make funding for Sam’s future life skills equipment that bit easier. James said: “Many people including myself have old shirts in their lofts that they will probably never look at or ever use again. Money can be made from selling these replica shirts, although we know we will not make millions from them, we are confident collectors and supporters of these teams will buy them and it will add up to a good amount to help Sam”.
“I have been promoting the campaign via Twitter mainly and have had a good response so far but we can do more by spreading the word further and reaching out to all parts of the British Isles by word of mouth, retweeting and the media. Some people as far as Norfolk have donated shirts and also helped to promote the campaign. Some of the gestures have been amazing and I cannot thank those people enough” said James. “However, I will not take it for granted and think that people will donate naturally, I aim to carry on the campaign for sometime yet”.
Sam has attended a few Wealdstone games with his family and two years ago the club had a Cerebral Palsy awareness day where Sam was also mascot. As he gets older and bigger Sam will need extra care and attention, new wheelchairs and other modified equipment to help him live as normal life as he can.
“Funding for wheelchairs and equipment for Sam is very hard to find, although he does get some small amounts it is not enough and will be harder to find over the years. Sam is a bright lad and takes everything in his stride but there is no doubt as his need for independence grows he will need more and more support. A lot of funding has come from events organised by family and friends, without that Sam would not be able to lead the life his family would like” said James.
Sam attends the PACE Centre in his local town and this also requires funding, which they find hard to come by. “Sam attends the PACE Centre on a Friday and this is where his main physiotherapy treatment is carried out” James continued: “The centre is vital not only to Sam but other children with disabilities and is run via grants in the main. I am pleased to say that current Wealdstone FC player Scott Fitzgerald and former player & family friend Gavin Hart have both put in bids to run the London Marathon for the PACE Centre in Sam’s name, which is a fabulous gesture”.
If you have any old replica shirts in a good condition please contact James via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter: @jimmysmith_76.