Boost for disabled children at loyal sister's Winter Wonderland event in wheelchair-bound brother's honour

CHILDREN who want nothing more than new mobility equipment this Christmas were given a wonderful boost by a Winter Wonderland fundraiser held at Radcliffe Borough FC.

Lauren Warwick, aged 25, hosted the charity party at Stainton Park in honour of her brother Dean, who is permanently wheelchair-bound.

The party featured festive stalls, a Santa’s grotto, Shetland pony rides and a reptile show and raised £924 for Whizz-Kidz, a charity which provides children with mobility equipment and wheelchairs.

Dean, aged 24, of Countess Lane, Radcliffe, lost the use of his legs when he was 22 after being diagnosed with snapping hip syndrome and undergoing a failed operation, after which doctors told him he would never be cured.

Due to Dean’s ill health Lauren took on the challenge of organising the event, which she says was “totally inspired” by her brother.

Lauren, who lives in Whitefield, also stepped in as a female Father Christmas after the Santa who was supposed to be attending had a car breakdown and could not make it.

She said: “Dean is really proud of me and we can’t wait to hand the cheque over.

“It was a fantastic event and the kids loved it – they were sat on my knee all day when I was in my role as Father Christmas, they enjoyed the pony rides and Crocodile Joe was swarmed as he did his reptile show.

“I would like to say a massive thank you to the people of Radcliffe for coming together on the day and making a real difference to these children’s lives with their donations.

“The Winter Wonderland was something for families and the community to enjoy together and I really feel it achieved that.”

Lauren also thanked Magnum Whiteline taxi company and CK Claims for donating the money to buy a Christmas grotto and Radcliffe Borough FC for offering the venue.

Dean said: “The news I was never going to be able to walk again hit me hard.

“It was tough knowing I would never kick a football around with my three-year-old son Lucca and wife Stacey.

“I wanted to help other kids and give something back because I struggle still after two years and without that vital equipment it is hard to go about your daily life.”

Emma Jones, regional fundraiser for Whizz-Kidz, said: “Whizz-Kidz is extremely thankful to Lauren and Dean for all the effort that went into organising the wonderful winter wonderland event.

“It was great to see so many people come out to support this and raise vital funds for Whizz-Kidz.

“The amount raised will make a real difference to children that require life-enhancing mobility equipment plus allow these children to attend wheelchair skills training and ambassador clubs to ensure they become happy, fulfilled and independent young adults.”

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