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Christmas comes early for Yorkshire children with disabilities

Hundreds of children with disabilities across Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees and Leeds are to benefit from a range of activities – ranging from snow tubing to horse riding – thanks to a cash boost from one of Yorkshire’s leading green energy companies.

Queensbury-based Fulfil The Wish has been handed the opportunity to launch its long-awaited “Friends and Fun” project after being awarded £2,500 by Leo Group Community Foundation.

The Leo Group operates sites at Swalesmoor, near Halifax, and Thornton in Bradford. Its community fund was set up to support grassroots organisations across the area and made a key contribution to the £125,000 that the firm donated to good causes last year.

The money will be used to take young people from across the whole of West Yorkshire – including those with profound physical disabilities – their parents and siblings, on a programme of various activities.

These would include hiring the Active specialist play centre in Halifax, taking the children to stables at Queensbury where there are facilities for riders with disabilities, snow tubing at Halifax Ski Centre, and swimming parties.

Fulfil The Wish founder Mary Appleton said:

“‘Friends and Fun’ is a new but ongoing initiative and is the only one of its kind in the district that also involves siblings and parents.

“We are grateful to the Leo Group for turning this dream into reality as, a small charity run on a voluntary basis, we would not have had the money to launch it without their funding.”

She added:

“Over the years, I have met some truly amazing children and equally amazing parents, and it’s great to see friendships forming amongst parents and children, and in particular siblings.

“It’s an opportunity for able and disabled children to do the same things and hopefully try something different.”

Catherine Miller, the Leo Group’s community liaison officer, said:

“Our community foundation is designed to make a positive impact to the lives of young people – and this initiative epitomizes the difference we are striving to achieve with our charity and good cause partners.

“It adds a new and exciting dimension to the work already carried out by Mary and her team and marks a ‘first’ for the district for the way it brings together families in such a range of fun activities, which many will not have experienced before.”

The Leo Group Community Fund was set up in 2011 with the aim of supporting a host of good causes that benefit children, particularly those involved in sporting activities, educational projects, cultural and environmental initiatives as well as schemes that aim to banish isolation.

Community Foundation
Catherine Miller, of the Leo Group, pictured with Jessie Wade-Rathbone, one of the hundreds of children with disabilities who will benefit from the new initiative

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