Toy appeal supports vital Shropshire charity that helps children to walk

Leanne Hoey beams with joy as her two-year-old son Archie Klein stands up in a specially built frame, with strategically placed supports to stop him falling.

Lynne Ford and Sarah Bew from The Movement Centre, with Archie Klein, aged two
Lynne Ford and Sarah Bew from The Movement Centre, with Archie Klein, aged two

“Archie is at the age now where he is starting to realise that he can’t do certain things but really wants to – and that pulls at the heartstrings – so to be able to get him on his feet is going to be just brilliant," says Leanne, who lives in Market Drayton.

Archie, who was born with Spastic Diplegic Cerebral Palsy, is one of many children receiving life-changing therapies from The Movement Centre, at Gobowen, near Oswestry.

The nationally renowned centre provides revolutionary therapies which give children like Archie the chance to gain more control of their movements and reach their full potential.

Leanne Hoey with son Archie Klein, two

And you can help by donating to our Christmas Toy Appeal.

The Movement Centre, based at the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital, is one of four brilliant causes that will benefit from our Christmas Toy Appeal, in conjunction with Shropshire brewery Joule's.

We are appealing once more to our generous family of readers to help give hundreds of youngsters across Shropshire and Mid Wales the type of Christmas they deserve.

And Ann Norwood, a therapy assistant at the charity, says the toys can often play a crucial role in helping children develop their movement abilities.

Archie Klein, two, from Market Drayton is able to stand up in front of father Steve Klein and physiotherapist Sarah Bew

"The toys that we receive from the toy appeal are so important and make such a difference to the children that come to The Movement Centre," she says.

"The toys help the children to engage in their therapy sessions both at the centre and at home, particularly the toys that make a sound or have lights.”

More than 5,000 gifts have been handed over to needy youngsters since the appeal was first launched in 2015. And we're asking readers to donate brand new toys, games and other gifts for children and teenagers who are living with illness, disability, or the responsibility of having to look after somebody who cannot care for themselves.

This year, for the first time, we are joining forces with Shropshire brewery Joule's, with collection points situated at four of its pubs. Donations can also be dropped off at the Shropshire Star's new offices at Grosvenor House, off Hollinswood Road, Telford, or at Telford & Wrekin CVS at Hazeldine House in Telford town centre.

The therapies available at The Movement Centre help children with movement such as gaining head control so that they can interact with those around them, sit unaided, and can even lead to developing the ability to walk.

Chairman of trustees at the charity, David Vicary, says: "The therapy to improve movement makes a life-changing difference to a child and their family – and can even see children taking their first steps.

“For others it is the difference between being able to sit at the table with their families, playing games on the floor with siblings and friends or using their arms and hands for tasks that the rest of us so often take for granted."

Mr Vicary said The Movement Centre does not receive any funding from the NHS, and was entirely dependent on the goodwill of the public.

It provides therapies for youngsters with Cerebral Palsy, Global Development Delay, Down's Syndrome or other genetic disorders.

As well as The Movement Centre, this year's appeal is also supporting The Harry Johnson Trust, for children with cancer, the children's ward at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals NHS Trust, and Telford Young Carers.

We are also appealing for businesses who can help by either donating to the appeal or collecting on our behalf. If you are able to help please telephone 01952 241491.

Donations can be taken to the following collection points:

Telford

  • Shropshire Star, Grosvenor House, Central Park, Hollinswood Road, Telford, TF2 9TW

  • Telford & Wrekin CVS, Hazeldine House, Central Square, Telford TF3 4JL

Shrewsbury

  • The White Horse, 7, Wenlock Rd, Shrewsbury, SY2 6JJ

Market Drayton

  • The Red Lion, Great Hales Street, Market Drayton, TF9 1JP

Church Stretton

  • King’s Arms, 53, High Street, Church Stretton, SY6 6BY

Stone

  • The Crown Wharf, Crown Street, Stone, ST15 8QN

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