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Sunday, 21 December 2014

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Carlisle mum ready for firewalk as part of £30,000 fundraising bid

Devoted mum Linzi Sonley would do anything to help her disabled daughter.

Linzi Sonley photo
Linzi Sonley with daughter Poppy Graham

And just to prove it, she’s planning to quite literally walk over hot coals as part of a daring fundraising effort to help her two-year-old daughter Poppy, who suffers from a range of developmental and mobility problems.

Linzi, 27, aims to raise £30,000 to pay for Poppy’s “dream room”, which will be a fully equipped sensory stimulation facility which could make a huge difference to her daughter’s development.

Poppy currently uses a sensory room at Newtown Primary School in Carlisle for an hour a fortnight.

“She’s is a totally different girl when she’s in that room but she doesn’t get to be there for anywhere near long enough,” said Linzi, of Wilson Street, off Newtown Road.

“The sensory room is full of stimulating things for Poppy to see and touch, different textures, and colours, and fibre optic lights.

“She can’t talk, or feed herself, and a developmental check has shown that she’s at the stage of an eight-month-old baby but a sensory room could make a huge difference to her brain development.

“It’s really exciting to see her in a sensory room, because the change in her is amazing. She becomes more vocal, and wants to express herself.

“But I want people to know that I don’t just want to use the room for Poppy. I have friends who have children with special needs, and I’d love other children who need it to come to my house and use it.

“I wouldn’t want their money. If somebody’s child needed to use it, I’d be happy for them to.

“I started this fundraising in August, and already we’ve raised £7,000. There’s been a fantastic response from people. More and more people are getting to know about Poppy.”

Linzi’s latest fundraiser will be a sponsored firewalk on January 19 at the Turf Tavern (Hungry Horse) in Carlisle.

She has so far got 30 volunteers, who will be sponsored for their walks – and the event will also raise money for other good causes, including the Animals’ Refuge at Wetheral, and Hospice at Home.

Linzi added: “I am looking for more volunteers to take part, but I’ll be the first to walk over the hot coals. I’ll do absolutely anything to help make Poppy’s life better.”

To volunteer for the firewalk, which gets underway at 5pm on January 19, contact Linzi on 07584 679388.

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