Helping kids take their first step

Posted on Monday, 17 November 2014

A Canterbury League Club donation of $20,000 to Variety – the Children’s Charity really has the ability to create wonders for children who are sick, disadvantaged or have special needs.

This is the story of four-year-old Harry from Ashbury, one of the lucky recipients who received a new walker through a portion of Canterbury’s contribution.

Harry has the developmental age of a six-month old, cannot walk or speak, is severely vision impaired and needs help for all of his self-care requirements. He attends The Infants’ Home school at Ashfield five days a week, where he regularly accesses specialised teaching from occupational and play therapists, and a speech therapist who is slowly teaching him sign language to enable him to communicate with others.

Harry’s walker has made an amazing difference to his quality of life. His mother Emma explains, “During the week the walker stays at school, and Harry spends most of his time in it. He adores being around his school friends, loving nothing more than being immersed in all of the noise and activities. He’s a very popular boy, and in his walker he is at eye level with his peers, which is vital for meaningful interaction with them. He can now even propel himself for short distances.

“The walker enables him to put weight on his legs, which will make them stronger, and there is now a good chance that in the future he may be able to stand unaided, and there is a possibility that he could even be able to walk.”

The family will be extremely happy if Harry is able to stand because it will improve his health and social interactions. It will also be easier to care for him on a daily basis when he becomes too heavy to lift safely.

“One of Canterbury’s main funding goals this year is to assist children in need within our community because it is harder for them to have a voice. Variety – the Children’s Charity is just one of the fantastic organisations that helps and supports kids to lead happier, more enriching lives,” said Dr George Peponis OAM, Chairman of Canterbury League Club.