Appeal to help little Dereham boy Blake Barley to walk reaches �20,000 mark

The appeal to send little Dereham boy Blake Barley to America for life-changing surgery has reached the �20,000 mark.

His mum Debbie said she and her husband Luke were 'overwhelmed' by the support of the community.

The couple, from Toftwood, hope to reach their �50,000 target in time to fly three-year-old Blake, who has cerebral palsy, to America for surgery to help him walk.

Demand means it is not readily available on the NHS, and limited availability in the UK has ruled out the option of private treatment.

While many people took it easy over the bank holiday weekend, energetic fund-raisers worked up a sweat on a treadmill during a 24-hour marathon at the Railway Tavern pub, which has collected about �1,500.

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The main fund-raiser this week is a music night at the Toftwood Social Centre on Saturday, at 7pm.

Hi Definition will play music from the 1950s to the present day. Tickets are �2.50 (children free).

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All the ticket money will go to the Blake's Wish 2 Walk appeal, as will 10pc of money from food sales.

There is also an auction with prizes donated by a range of local organisations and companies.

The lots include membership at Dereham Snooker Club, golf at Dereham and Weston Park clubs, vouchers for Anglia Karting and VIP tickets for Newmarket races.

Another boost for the appeal has come from Dereham professional golfer Andrew Marshall, who is offering people the chance to play 18 holes with him.

The package is worth �350, including coaching and tips, and is for three golfers.

The closing date for bids is September 25 and anyone interested can contact Neil Irons on 07748 302551.

Mrs Barley said: 'We just want to thank everyone for their support and it has exceeded all our expectations.

'We are really, really chuffed to reach the �20,000 mark and the support from the community has been overwhelming and it has continued and has blown us away.'

To find out more about Blake's appeal or to make a donation, click on or call Mrs Barley on 01362 693452.

Cheques, payable to Blake Barley Appeal, can be posted to 67 Stone Road, Toftwood, Dereham, NR19 1LH.

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