So this is already a bit of a team effort! The amazing Guildford Action have been working with the family and knows that a simple solution (a specialised bath) to making life better simply cannot be paid for by the public purse & that it will cost £6k-£7k, which the family do not have. Hyper local news organisation The Guildford Dragon first highlighted the plight of Kessie and her family in this article. It was quickly picked up by well known local glass artist Adam Aaronson who challenged us (the local community) to respond.
A Summary of the challenge:
This is a family of four living in Merrow. Kessie has Rett Syndrome which means that she needs 24 hour care. Her younger brother Troy is Autistic: he's essentially non-verbal, has ongoing sensory needs and ongoing challenging behaviour with no awareness of danger among other things. They have another brother Niall - who is well and healthy, three years old and a bundle of energy. I think we can all accept why life is a huge challenge for Mum Iris!
They have a shower but Kessie loves to bath. Here's why (more detail in the original article):
- The temperature of the shower fluctuates from hot to cold.
- Kessie does not appear to enjoy the experience of being showered. Iris says it is like a battle, and she has to strip off herself and get into the shower with her daughter to manage the process. .
- Kessie had a bath in a previous home and found it relaxing, calming and therapeutic.
- Troy has sensory issues and a bath is better than a shower at calming him (especially before bedtime).
- At the moment Kessie is being bathed at her special school - outside them home (clearly not ideal! - Ed).
- During the holidays, Kessie's carers sometimes shower her - they all know it's distressing for all involved.
There you have it - a relatively small ask from a family who have enough to contend with and a community in action. Now all we need to do is gather enough money to buy the bath.
A Rewards-Based Crowdfunder
If you can donate, please do. If you are a local business who has a product or a service that you could offer as a reward to anyone wishing to pledge to Kessia's cause, please get in touch. We've set up an gmail account just for this crowdfunder : firstname.lastname@example.org. We think we should be able to collect enough local trials and treats to encourage people to pledge (but we keep selling out of them!). In this way we're not just asking you to make yet another donation to a (very) worthwhile cause, but we're hoping to make sure that there's something in it for everyone.
These lovely local businesses have already donated....
- Adam Aaronson pledged a Short Taster Course in Glass blowing at his West Horsley Glass Blowing Studio. Lovely lovely way to introduce yourself to this amazing art.
- Adrian at Bramble Turkey Farm offered some of his scrumptious and bootiful turkey (joints, mince & bbq pack).
- Laura Church offered a tray of her legendary brownies (12). Yum Yum. That went like hot cakes.
- Handyman Jason Lee of Beck & Call offered three hours' work (if your home is within a 5 mile radius of Guildford). So if you have an odd job or painting & decorating job, a great way to try out his services.
- Carly Garrett is offered an hour's reflexology in the comfort of your own Surrey home. Have a look at her website.
- Merrow-based Supreme Steam Ironing offered a 20-ironed-shirts package (nearly went for that ourselves!)
- Jill Bennett offered a full Arbonne Skin Care set at a fraction of the normal price.
Note: Adam suggested that we ask Guildford Action to confirm that the bath represents good value for money. We did that and it does... now, will you?