Rallying round to give Charlie a big boost

An identical twin with cerebral palsy now has access to a vital piece of equipment thanks to two Scarborough charities.

Friday, 10th March 2017, 2:18 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 9:55 am
Charlie Hall meets fundraisers at his home in Scarborough .Salt Trustee Rosemary Forrest,Lions President Gareth Jones,Mum Olivia Stirling, Charlie , Dad Iain Hall,Salt volunteer Carole Harper,Lions representative Robert Hunter. pic Richard Ponter 170815a

Eight-year-old Charlie Hall was born premature at 32 weeks with his twin brother Evan, with the former being fully dependent on his family.

The Wheatcroft School pupil’s condition means he cannot walk, sit unsupported or use his hands so he obtained a Tobii computer which operates using his eyes.

Mum Olivia Stirling, 39, said: “The computer is fantastic and means Charlie can be sociable with friends and family. He loves it and it is a pleasure to see him happy.

“We got a stand when he got the computer but it was very difficult to transport with an Allen key needed to dismantle it. This meant we weren’t able to bring it home apart from on a weekend so Charlie was missing out.”

This was when Olivia asked the Scarborough Lions and Scarborough and Locals Together if they could help with funding a new foldable stand for the computer at a cost of more than £1,000 so Charlie could access his computer every day.

She said: “The equipment is all very expensive and I couldn’t believe when they got back in touch saying they would cover the full cost.

“It means he would have access to his computer seven days a week at home and at school.

“He is very happy that he has some independence. It is very important to him that he can play, which gives him a sense of achievement. It is wonderful to see him using it.”

Charlie’s cerebral palsy, affecting his movement and muscles, is believed to be as a result of prematurity and twin to twin transfusion syndrome.

He has had support from the NHS as well as his speech language therapy with his talking always improving, says Olivia.

Both Olivia and Charlie’s father Iain Hall, 44, have both expressed their thanks to Scarborough Lions and SALT for their support.

She said: “We are so grateful to the charities for their donation. The long-term aim is to have the keyboard available for Charlie so he can write using it. This means the world to the family and means Charlie’s needs are being fulfilled.”