Parents of disabled Welwyn boy thank community for their fundraising support

PUBLISHED: 10:09 31 May 2017 | UPDATED: 10:09 31 May 2017

Gareth, Jonty, 6, Imogen, 5 months and Jessica Burger, in their home in Welwyn. Picture: Danny Loo

Gareth, Jonty, 6, Imogen, 5 months and Jessica Burger, in their home in Welwyn. Picture: Danny Loo

Danny Loo Photography 2017

The parents of a disabled six-year-old Welwyn boy who were fundraising to buy him a powered wheelchair, so that he can stay at the school he loves with his friends, have thanked the community for raising the money so quickly.

Jonty Burger, 6. Picture: Danny LooJonty Burger, 6. Picture: Danny Loo

Jonty Burger, from Oaklands, Welwyn, who has Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy and epilepsy, was under threat that he wouldn’t be able to carry on going to school with his much-loved classmates if his parents couldn’t secure a £7,588 powered wheelchair by September.

Jonty’s mum Jessica Burger said: “A small school environment is best for him, to help him realise his full potential, so we are very fortunate that has a place at a local mainstream school where class sizes are smaller than average.”

Jonty currently has a lightweight manual wheelchair, which his parents funded, and while he can self-propel it around his own home, he relies on adults to push him around at school.

However, there is a slope into the early years learning area at his school and pushing Jonty up and down this breaches health and safety regulations for staff and carers.

Mick's Barbers employee Daniel Gizzi and Tanning By Tara owner Tara Covill are looking to raise money for 6 year old Jonty so he can buy a special wheelchair needed for school. Picture: Danny LooMick's Barbers employee Daniel Gizzi and Tanning By Tara owner Tara Covill are looking to raise money for 6 year old Jonty so he can buy a special wheelchair needed for school. Picture: Danny Loo

To be able to stay at the school he needed a powered wheelchair but the youngster couldn’t be considered for a statutory assessment until he has been seizure-free for 12 months.

Within three weeks of the Welwyn Hatfield Times posting Jonty’s appeal over £7,500 has been raised to fund his powered wheelchair.

Tanning By Tara and Mick’s Barbers, which are both based in Church Street, Old Hatfield, donated 10 per cent of their profits each week until the fundraising total was reached.

Jessica said: “We are thrilled that we have been able, with the support of our friends and the local community, to reach this fundraising target so quickly.

“It means that we can now ensure that Jonty has his powerchair to practice driving in over the summer, and he will be able to enter Year 1 with his friends at the school that he loves.

“We are so grateful for the support local people and businesses have shown Jonty and our family, and to the Welwyn Hatfield Times for their continued support in sharing our story.”

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