An amazing 9-year-old boy is the inspiration behind a campaign to set up a centre that aims to get disabled children walking for the first time
The Freddie Farmer Foundation was formed in February 2011 to raise £250,000 to set up a specialised physiotherapy centre in south-east London for children and young people with cerebral palsy and serious mobility problems. The inspiration behind it all is 9-year-old Freddie Farmer who was born at 28 weeks with cerebral palsy, weighing just 2lb 12oz.
At present, Freddie goes to a specialist centre near Oxford three times a year for three weeks of treatment, travelling there and back every day. The treatment includes a “Spider” – elasticated ropes that allow Freddie and the other children to get vital support as they do their exercises. The Spider would be the single most important piece of equipment when the local centre is developed.
Q&A with Karen Smith
Tell O2e supporters about FFF
We provide intensive physiotherapy programmes and support services for disabled children with cerebral palsy and mobility issues, as well as providing support for their families and carers.
What are the main challenges the charity faces?
Getting the necessary funds to continue to run the centre year in, year out is an ongoing challenge. It costs £150,000 a year to run the centre, we need to raise £100,000 as £50,000 comes from the therapy payments made by the families. We are completely independent and receive no funding whatsoever from the NHS so have to rely on the generosity of the general public and organisations like O2e to continue our work.
How can the O2e community help?
The O2e community can help by raising funds, donating their time to spread the word about the work we do here at the Freddie Farmer Foundation and by attending our events.
What benefits will there be for the children FFF supports from the funds donated by O2e?
The children benefit from the subsidised therapy we provide, which is roughly half the cost of what similar centres across the country charge. We are able to subsidise our therapy fees thanks to the generosity of organisations like O2e. Our aim is one day to make our therapy free for all so that it is available to everyone, whether they can afford it or not.
From the perspective of a supported charity, what does O2e look and feel like?
Our guardian angel!