SGS College set out to make Amelia’s dream to walk a reality
Some children dream about what they’d like to be when they grow up. Others dream about meeting their favourite characters.
One big sister, four year old Amelia-Rose, has just one dream. Amelia-Rose Walton, from Cheltenham, longs to be able to walk unaided, so she can walk her little sister Chloe the short distance to her first day at school this September. To proudly take Chloe through the school gates and into the next big stage of her life. It’s not an impossible dream.
Amelia-Rose has been diagnosed with Spastic Paraplegia (HSP) - a degenerative disease that means her limited use of her legs will only get more painful, and means she is more likely to be consigned to a wheelchair for life.
It is incredibly rare for this inherited disorder to be diagnosed in somebody so young.
Alongside the Superhero Foundation, Mum Tanya and Dad Ben have been fundraising for Amelia-Rose for more than three years - Ben even walked 300km over three day and through much hard work and kind donations Amelia-Rose received a life changing operation in the US which has marked the beginning of the realisation of Amelia-Rose’s hopes.
Unfortunately the £36,000 operation was just the start of this long journey and for the operation to be successful Amelia-Rose needs intensive aftercare including daily physiotherapy that the NHS is not able to provide.
When real-life superhero and Superhero Foundation founder, Jamie McDonald mentioned the Amelia-Rose campaign to staff at South Gloucestershire and Stroud College (SGS) they were keen to get involved. As a result, students across the four campuses of the College are joining together for their first Raising and Giving (RAG) fortnight with one common goal – to raise enough money for Amelia-Rose to receive the aftercare she so desperately needs to complete the final stages of this emotional journey.
Jamie McDonald from neighbouring Gloucester, who dressed as alter-ego Adventureman, recently broke the Guinness world record for the greatest distance covered on a treadmill in 7 days, just weeks after finishing his 210 marathon; 5,500 mile run across the US.
McDonald, 32, has been supporting Ameila-Rose and her family on this journey through his charity Superhero Foundation, by both providing advice and enabling the Waltons to claim Gift Aid on all donations.
"We are so excited that SGS are getting involved in the Amelia-Rose campaign. I can’t tell you what it means to this local family that the amazing students of SGS are putting all their energy into making a little girls dream come true."
With a challenging target of raising £20,000 the students and staff of SGS will be planning and taking part in a huge range of activities during their two week RAG event including a Superhero Dress up day, football tournaments, making and selling wooden garden furniture as well as holding Star Wars and Frozen themed children’s tea parties and campus walks.
Sara-Jane Watkins, College Principal comments:
"We have a college full of enthusiastic, creative and generous people so when Jamie mentioned the Amelia-Rose campaign, we thought it would be the perfect cause to launch our first SGS RAG week.
It is truly inspiring to see how the whole college is coming together with so many wonderful fundraising ideas and events. With the support of the community, we hope our learners will gain important skills, have fun and hopefully, raise enough money for such a worthwhile campaign. Amelia-Rose is so close to achieving her dream and we hope that SGS can help make that dream a reality."