Lora, Ben and Phoenix’s story
Phoenix was welcomed into the world by Lora and Ben in 2016. He was born 10 weeks premature and was diagnosed with Periventricular leukomalacia (PVL), which then led to a diagnosis of Cerebal Palsy and learning disabilities.
Phoenix has trouble moving and spends much of the day in specialist equipment which helps to increase his mobility, with Lora providing full time care. Since the summer of 2017 he has been attending Leeds Mencap’s Hawthorn Specialist Playroom. The Hawthorn Specialist Playroom provides tailored early intervention for children with a learning disability aged between 0-3 years. It is the only centre of its kind in Leeds and it provides support at a crucial stage of development for the child. Phoenix has settled into Hawthorn really well. He is a brave and resolute little boy and has become good friends with the other children. Our expert staff are working with him and Lora on developing his mobility and strength, and he is improving all the time.
Here’s what Lora had to say about the Hawthorn Specialist Playroom.
’Hawthorn is my sanctuary. All the staff are so caring and supportive and they just get what it’s like to have a child with a disability. Kath (Hawthorn Manager) is just amazing. She goes way beyond what she has to do and does so much more for each and every one of us. Kath’s work doesn’t end when we leave our day at Hawthorn. She is there to support us throughout the week and will always endeavour to get in touch and help if there is anything we need. It’s amazing to know I have someone on my side when I feel like the world is against me or if I just don’t know what to do. My world is a better place because of Kath and Hawthorn. The world needs more Kaths, it would be a much better place if so!’
In May 2018, Ben cycled from London to Paris over 4 days to raise money for Leeds Mencap and SNAPS. At over 70 miles a day, Ben really tested himself and raised over £3,400 for Leeds Mencap!
If you’re feeling inspired and would like to take on a challenge please see the events section on our website. If nothing takes your fancy, why not organise something yourself? Contact us on 0113 235 1331 and we will be happy to help you organise your own event.