High hopes for hitting £10,000 by end of June

The campaign is flying this week, delighting Jess Booker and six-year-old son Toby
The campaign is flying this week, delighting Jess Booker and six-year-old son Toby

EXCITEMENT is mounting after a fantastic week for the Help Toby Run With His Friends Campaign.

Parents Ian and Jess Booker hope to top the £10,000 mark by the end of the month, thanks to some big donations.

Jess said: “We have had an amazing week. Last Saturday, Cllr Jeanette Warr came over for tea and cake and just to touch base –what a lovely lady she is.”

Cllr Mrs Warr, this year’s Bognor Regis town mayor, has made the campaign her good cause, having read about it in the Observer.

Jess continued: “The BBC South Today programme contacted us last Friday wanting to do a story on Toby and came over on Saturday to film Toby in the garden and interview me and Ian.

“The programme went out twice last Sunday and straight afterwards, the gofundme account went bonkers!”

Ian Booker added that after the programme aired last Sunday, one anonymous donor had donated £1,000, which had surprised and delighted the family.

Readers also continue to be generous, with several cheques arriving at the office at City Gates, 2-4 Southgate, Chichester.

One wrote: “Sorry it’s not more. Hope it helps towards Toby’s op.”

The family, of Havelock Road, Bognor Regis, are raising money for a life-changing selective dorsal rhizotomy operation at Great Ormond Street Hospital, which will cost £40,000.

Six-year-old Toby, Ian and Jess’s eldest son, has cerebral palsy and has to wear splints. The operation and the intensive physiotherapy aftercare will enable him to ‘be one of the boys’ and keep up with his friends better.

SDR is not a cure for cerebral palsy. Reduction in spasticity is immediately apparent after the procedure but it takes time for the strength in the legs to return. Through the physiotherapy programme, Toby will learn to use his body in a new way.

Jess, a teacher at Funtington Primary School, said one of her pupils was organising a jumble sale for the appeal.

It will be held at West Ashling Village Hall on Saturday, from 2pm to 4pm. There will be refreshments, a cake sale and a Me to You sale, plus lots more.

Also on Saturday is a Talent Show at Jubilee Hall, Elmer Road, Bognor Regis, from 7.30pm to 10.30pm.

Tim Wagter is putting together an exciting night of entertainment.

The talent show is designed for those age eight to 16, who can go along perform a pre-prepared act for a £5 entry fee. Tickets to watch the talent show are £2 each.

Contact Sally Wagter on 07963 431405 for more information about performing or to buy tickets.

Support is also coming from the Worthing area, where Ian is a Scout leader at 2nd Worthing.

A fundraising coffee morning and toy sale, called Toby’s Market, will be held at St John the Divine Church, on the corner of Elm Grove and Ripley Road, Worthing, on June 27, from 10.30am to 1pm.

Visit www.gofundme.com/skc58k to make a donation online, or cheques can be made payable to Toby Booker SDR and sent to the Observer, c/o Elaine Hammond, Chichester Observer, City Gate, Southgate, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 8DQ.

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