Hampshire firefighters are taking on a monster 55-mile trek with a stretcher and a 30kg dummy to raise cash to help a special little boy.
Tadley crews will be visiting 10 stations during their 24-hour journey across the north of the county for Oliver Witcomb on Saturday (August 6).
The firefighters want to raise £1,000 and awareness to help the six year old who suffers from a rare brain condition called Lissencephaly which has led to him having the developmental age of a three to six month old baby.
The firefighters have been promoting the event on social media and have had their message retweeted by comedian John Bishop, television presenter Nick Knowles and reality show star Scotty T.
He cannot sit or stand without help, is fed by tube and has seizures on a daily basis. His parents are desperate to alter their home to suit their son’s needs.
Oliver’s condition affects the whole family as he shares a room with his brother and has to be carried everywhere by his dad Darren or his mum Louise.
His mum said:
“So far any fundraising has been done by family members or close friends of the family.
“Sally and the Tadley crew are the first people who have no connection to us directly who offered to help.
“It is comforting to know there are genuinely good people who are willing to do this for us and Oliver.
“The effort and time the firefighters are putting into this is overwhelming not only on the day but the planning behind the scenes.
“I think it also shows how amazing our local fire service is, saving and helping lives in any way they can.
“Thankful and grateful aren't words that can describe fully how much we really do appreciate this, it's something we will never forget and the modifications we are hoping for will be life-changing for Oliver and the whole family.
“All these works won't just relieve issues we have now but will be suitable for Oliver as he grows for years to come.”
His parents hope to raise enough to pay for a downstairs bedroom for Oliver with shower facility, a widening of doorways for his wheelchair, hoisting equipment to make him more mobile, a driveway with dropped kerb access, storage for equipment and medicines and more floor space for him to enjoy time with the family and have his vital physiotherapy.
It is estimated this work would cost £60,000. The family have successfully applied for a disabled facilities grant which will pay £30,000.
They have currently raised almost £2,000 through Oliver’s Dream GoFundMe page and have collected more than £4,000 through other events.
As well as raising money the firefighters are urging any businesses or individuals in the community who may be able to help to come forward.
Watch Manager Sally Gould said:
“Oliver is a lovely little lad. If the money can be raised to get this work done it would be so much help to Oliver and the family in general – it would massively improve their quality of life.”
The firefighters are raising cash at through Just Giving.
The walk will start off at Yateley and finish at Tadley.
On route they will visit Rushmoor, Fleet, Hartley Wintney, Odiham, Basingstoke, Overton, Whitchurch and Kingsclere fire stations.
Oliver needs special facilities