Dazzling lights help fund Felpham gril’s operation

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A three-year-old Felpham girl is being helped to walk by a dazzling display of Christmas lights.

Beth Chiddle can only get around with the aid of a heavy walking frame.

Her parents, Kerry and Matt Chiddle, are hoping to change that by paying £25,000 for an operation that will overcome the disability caused by Beth’s cerebral palsy

Their friend, Lisa Oliver, is playing her part in the fundraising by staging a first rate festive light show at her Barnetts Field house in Westergate.

She said: “It’s nice to be able to help people and do what I can for such a dear girl. Beth is a poppet.

“We’ve put more lights up than we have ever done before and we’re asking for a donation from people who come to see them.

“We will have a jar of lollies to give to children who come along.”

Her illuminations feature a display around the edge of the property, a Christmas tree full of blue lights, coloured lights in another tree and lights along a side path.

An illuminated wreath lights up the front door, and three reindeer add another touch of sparkle.

The proceeds will add to the £4,000 which Kerry and Matt, both 32, of Wroxham Way, have raised in the two weeks since they launched their appeal.

Mother-of-four Kerry said: “Beth can’t walk unaided at the moment apart from a few steps around the house.

“Her frame only has wheels which go forwards and backwards so she has to be helped to turn a corner.

“The operation will improve the quality of her movement by using her muscles correctly as opposed to her muscles in her leg being stiff as they are now.”

Beth has a high level of plasticity in her muscles which the operation will overcome. It will be followed by weeks of intense physiotherapy.

“It will be like learning to walk again for her, though walking correctly this time,” said Kerry.

“Beth is quite a shy girl but she is very determined and is not scared of hard work.”

Beth attends Hopscotch Nursery in Aldingbourne as well as a school in Billingshurst for children with cerebral palsy.

The first fundraising event was a friends and family party at Hunston Village Hall which featured a Michael Jackson Thriller-style dance routine.

Her operation will be carried out privately in Bristol.

Kerry and Matt intend it to take place next September because it cannot be performed until a child is at least four.