Raising money to support Toby Dobson
Toby and his brother Cameron were born on the 31st of January 2007 weighing just 1lb 12oz. Sadly Cameron passed away at just 2 hours old. Due to complications Toby was transferred to the Princess Anne hospital in Southampton. Toby was born with chronic lung disease and underwent heart surgery, a hernia operation and eight blood transfusions in his first few months of life. The coming months were an agonising, emotional roller coaster as Toby battled for life. He remained on a ventilator and spent 160 days in hospital until he was well enough to come home. He was dependant on oxygen until October 2010. Toby has since been diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. His future development is uncertain and we are doing everything we can to ensure that he makes as much progress as possible.
Team Toby evolved as a number of friends, family and colleagues wanted to help and support Toby's development, alongside the professionals who meet Toby’s medical, physical and emotional needs. We are truly grateful to all those involved and would not have such a happy son without their help and support.
The funds raised by Team Toby are primarily used to purchase the equipment and therapy Toby needs and is not provided by the NHS. Over time, Team Toby has branched out and is now helping charities that are close to our hearts and have provided much needed support to Toby and his family. One of these charities is Sebastian’s Action Trust.
Sebastian’s Action Trust has supported the whole family with invitations to events tailored for us as individuals as well as a family unit. These include activities such as a mums’ sleepover, dads’ days, chill and chat, coffee mornings, art and music workshops and parties for the whole family. Never did we imagine that Toby would be playing a musical instrument on a backing track, riding on a bucking bronco or that we would all be part of a choir singing at The Anvil theatre with Alastair performing a solo. We have achieved all of this through Sebastian’s Action Trust and are grateful for the continued support we receive. We are happy to be able to give something back through fundraising and volunteering with the Trust.
Great South Run - £732
November 2014 Chocoholic Party - £255
Purley Downs Golf Club - £7191 (Toby's Grandparents)
Bradbeers Relay Marathon 2015 - £1000 and still counting
Raising money in memory of Leo Seymour
Leo Seymour lost his battle against drugs on the 28th January 2015, aged just 20. Leo’s devastated family and friends are determined that his tragic passing should not be in vain. Leo’s friends are now committed to help prevent another drugs related tragedy and as such are embarking on an awareness raising campaign within the local community.
Leo’s friends want to sell wrist bands with the slogan ‘Leo fought the drugs but the drugs won’ which can be worn by the community highlighting the dangers of drug misuse. The wrist bands which will be sold in schools and within the community will retail at £1.00
The money raised from the bands and through other endeavours undertaken by Leo’s friends will be donated to local charity, Sebastian's Action Trust. Leo was passionate about the work of the charity which supports families of seriously-ill and life-limited children from diagnosis, through treatment and beyond.
The charity is very grateful to Leo’s friends for thinking of them during this difficult time. The charity is independent of the campaign but honoured that Leo’s family have chosen for the proceeds to come to Trust. The feeling amongst the team at the Trust and also Leo’s friends is that the children supported by the Trust have no choice and in many cases, little time but for young people tempted by drugs they do have a choice and there is still time.
To read Leo's eulogy, please click here.
The annual charity events held in the French ski locations of La Tania and Meribel Village add a much appreciated international dimension to the support given to Sebastian’s Action Trust.
We have been the grateful recipients of the incredible fundraising endeavours from the 3 Valleys Charity Day (formerly known as La Tania Charity Day) since 2004. Known as ‘The End of Season Party for a Good Cause’, the first charity day was held in La Tania in 2002, inspired by Dan Provost in memory of his mother who sadly died from breast cancer.Since then local residents, workers, businesses & visitors have worked tirelessly to raise over €200,000 through a series of events that have grown in size and stature, necessitating the move of the main event from La Tania to Meribel in 2012. Since 2002 the sums raised have been split between our charity and French charity Ligue Nationale Contre le Cancer.
Every year a team from the Trust makes the annual pilgrimage to France to support the fantastic efforts of the dedicated and committed team who choose to organise Charity Day. This term simply does not cover the many ways in which money is raised- from balls and family days, sponsored treks up the mountains, egg eating competitions, Harley Davidson rides, auctions, raffles, tombolas, fancy dress,float processions and a full scale festival of top notch music, food and entertainment- Charity Day has become an annual fixture in the diaries of so many who come not only to ski but to enjoy themselves in the name of two worthy causes.
Our thanks, as ever, go to all who give their time, effort and energy to organising the events in La Tania and Meribel, as well as those who so generously sponsor and attend these initiatives. Such kindness helps us to make life a little easier for those families who face enormous challenges on a daily basis.
From this year's event we are thrilled to have received €18,000 (£12504.24).
For further information on the charity day please visit: http://www.latania.co.uk/photos/CharityDayIndex.htm
La Tania Charity Day - now known as XSCAPE 3 Valleys Charity Day
The 14th Annual Charity Day was held on Wednesday 8th April, 2015 in Meribel Village featuring The Dub Pistols and DJ Jo Whiley.
The Return of the Pistoleros is their new Album and very apt as the DUB PISTOLS returned to bring their very eclectic mix of Ska, Dub, Punk & Hip Hop back to Méribel Village once again this year. Tighter than ever and so, so experienced at whipping up a festival type crowd, they went down a storm for a second consecutive year.
Prior to the Dub Pistols it was the turn of Radio 1 & 2 DJ, Top of the Pops, Glastonbury & BRITS TV presenter (amongst others) and of course creator of the legendary Live Lounge feature, JO WHILEY to get the crowd going with a great set - the beer tent was rocking to Song 2 and 9 to 5!
Along with all of the best local Alpine Bands, outside bars, food stalls, dance tent, merchandise, tombola, bouncy castle, Champagne Tent etc - a fantastic day was had by all with absolutely perfect weather.
Leo was a very much wanted and longed for baby.
He was a beautiful smiley little boy, very affectionate, loving cuddles, and a real character.
Leo was very sociable and conversed confidently with adults from a very early age.
He was an intelligent young man and even at primary school had a very enquiring mind.
Leo was very sporty for a few years having a go at everything though he was not very good at having to take second place.
Leo played football for two clubs in Bracknell, rowed for a while at Dorney Lake, swam for Bracknell and Wokingham swimming club and tried boxing for a short period.
Leo was only a few months old when he attended his first football match on a family holiday down in Plymouth.
Leo loved going to watch Chelsea play with his dad. Even his sister, Zoe, and mum, Mandy, ventured up there one very cold Boxing Day on a family day out. He became quite a well known character up at Stamford Bridge where he used to sell an unofficial programme managing to make a tidy sum on the side.
His time at primary school ended with us having to make decisions about his secondary education.
Leo’s behaviour had started to become difficult and we were really not sure what was best for him.
In an attempt to give him a new start we sent him to Sandhurst secondary school. Sadly he only lasted just over two years there.
Then we had to decide what to do next.
Garth secondary school in Bracknell took him on knowing there were problems.
Unfortunately he lasted only two terms.
It was around this time that Leo was diagnosed with ODD - Oppositional Defiant Disorder - which explained much of his behaviour.
He attended a pupil referral unit in Bracknell for a short while but it did not go well.
Leo was then educated at home, first on the computer and then by tutors. He did take his GCSEs and did obtain some qualifications.
Sadly education and Leo were not a good mix despite the fact that he was a very intelligent young man and could have gone far.
The next period in his life is difficult to describe.
Leo had become involved in a world alien to us and was taking drugs on a regular basis.
He got in deeper and deeper and seemingly could not find a way out. Sadly this led to us losing him at the age of 20.
Noah and Freddie- Double Champions!
Noah and Freddie- the inspiration for Sporting Footprints, by proud Daddy Tony
Our identical twin sons, Noah and Freddie were born in March 2009; although seven weeks premature and slow to feed we were able to take them home with no problems four weeks later. But when the boys were 8 months old, Noah became unwell with bronchiolitis, which Freddie developed 2 days later. That winter was spent in and out of hospital as the boys seemed to catch infection after infection and were slow to regain strength. They fought off collapsed lungs, pneumonia, adeno virus, RSV and were placed in their own little head boxes as they struggled to maintain oxygen levels. After a tough winter things really picked up in the summer and we celebrated the boys 1st birthday having been told all the problems were just bad luck they would grow out of these issues.
In September of the boys 2nd year Noah had his first seizure, a day my wife and I will never forget as I’m sure any parent who has witnessed would agree. Sadly this again was something Noah and ourselves would have to get used to as he went on to have several, sometimes prolonged, seizures over the next two years. Noah was found to have a rare brain condition called Periventricular Nodule Heterotopia which, among other things, can cause epilepsy and developmental delay. As of October 2011 Noah has been seizure free and his medication seems to have it under control.
The boys 2nd winter was again a bad one for them as the same respiratory problems returned. Whilst Noah was ventilated in intensive care in Southampton hospital, Freddie was in Basingstoke hospital HDU experiencing similar problems. We were literally torn in two as a family. Noah and Freddie were found to have a lung disease called Bronchiectasis and a lung condition called Bronchomalacia. The next and boys 3rd winter was no less eventful and once again both boys were back in Basingstoke hospital with respiratory distress. Luckily Noah tolerated the BiPap machine to help him breathe otherwise he was about to be ventilated again. We were coping well all together in Basingstoke hospital until Freddie took a turn for the worse and had to be rushed to Southampton Intensive care for surgery as he had Sepsis Ileus and his tummy had effectively stopped working. We were experts on lung problems but tummy trouble was a new one for us.
Noah has since had a peg fitted so we can tube feed him high calorie milk at night as he has barely any interest in food and is failing to thrive. We await news as to whether he will have a colostomy bag fitted this year as he has bowel problems and he has had surgery to remove tonsils as he was struggling to breathe at night.
Our boys amaze us everyday and the support from family and friends has been fantastic. It is the unexpected support from people we don’t know that really touches us aswell. Our community nurse put us in touch with Sebastian’s Action Trust and soon after we had our first stay at The Bluebells. The house is amazing and with the help of Lauren we felt at home straight away. Our boys love to swim but get cold very quickly so the heated pool at The Bluebells was great as we could spend longer with the boys doing something they love. Noah and Freddie get excited every time we visit ‘their holiday house’ and the main thing the house has given us as a family is even more smiles and time for us to get away and just be together.
My wife and I still cannot believe the amount of on going care and support the Trust’s staff give us as a family, from offers of transport to hospitals, use of The Bluebells’ pool and being on the end of the phone, they really go the extra mile.
About the fund
We could never thank everybody at the Trust enough but they have inspired us to set up our own little charity called Sporting Footprints (supporting Sebastian’s Action Trust). Our aim is to raise money through yearly events and use this money to provide sport and leisure opportunities and equipment to the families that use Bluebells.
Running total and target:
- We launched our Family fun day in September 2012 and we managed to raise £1000.
- In December 2012 we were able to donate £500 to help with funding towards a specially adapted wheelchair for a special little girl, Molly, who we met through Sebastian’s Action Trust.
- In March 2013 we raised over £1000 with the help of 10 brave fundraisers who walked 20 miles along the Kennet and Avon canal. This money has been set aside to help fund 2 new drysuits for the Bluebells pool for children with Hickman lines who cannot use public swimming pools.