Janine Da Silva, 35, from Barrow In Furness UK was both delighted and grateful when a locally based fundraising fund, Harrisons Fund, offered to set up an appeal named ‘Luiz Garden Appeal’ to raise money for her son Luiz, 3, to have a fully landscaped sensory garden.
Harrison’s Fun Fund is a Facebook fundraising page whose aim is to help raise mobility, sensory and fun items for special needs children. The fund was set up due to the overwhelming community response when Harrison had his specially adapted trike stolen before Christmas. The trike was a vital part of Harrison’s lifestyle and physiotherapy. The people of Barrow-in-Furness and surrounding areas donated enough money to get Harrison his new trike before Santa came down the chimney.
Janine told Autism Daily Newscats that “Luiz has an undiagnosed genetic condition due to his chromosome deletion being rare. At the moment we are awaiting a meeting to confirm a diagnosis of autism. He has many autistic traits and sensory issues”.
Janine, not comfortable in accepting money from charity told Autism Daily Newscast.
“I struggle taking charity for nothing. I took it upon myself to raise most of the money myself”.
Janine has indeed taken an active role in all of the fundraising activities.
So far Janine has held a couple of fundraising events including a ‘Leap for Luiz’ in which her 15 year old son, Leam did a sponsored bungee jump. Sunbeams, a touring music and singing group who visit Barrow every week during the school holidays and work exclusively with special needs children held a sponsored ‘Singathon’ and raised money for the appeal.
There is also an upcoming online Charity Auction on Saturday 14th September in which various prizes include day trips out to local farms and events as well as gaining a bouncy castle for the day.
Lee Mead, of London West End fame, has also shown support towards the appeal. Janine shared:
“After writing to Lee Mead’s management team, they have kindly put together a backstage pass package to one of his shows in Barrow. He has been advertising the prize on his official Facebook page. The prize is now up for auction until September 12th”.
Janine also commented that “we are now getting donations as far away as California”
£2000 is needed to redevelop the garden in which to make it a safe haven as well as a fun and exciting sensory experience for Luiz. So far £1100 has been raised.