Norwich mum wants to make the city laugh to fundraise for son’s safe space

Jackie Hollings is raising money to create a safe soft play area in her home for her 2-year-old auti

Jackie Hollings is raising money to create a safe soft play area in her home for her 2-year-old autistic son Oskar, who has outgrown his playpen.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

A mum from Norwich is appealing for help to put on a charity comedy club to get much-needed funds for her two-year-old son.

Jackie Hollings is raising money to create a safe soft play area in her home for her 2-year-old auti

Jackie Hollings is raising money to create a safe soft play area in her home for her 2-year-old autistic son Oskar, who has outgrown his playpen.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

Jackie Hollings, of Highland Road, near Eaton Park, wants to raise £2,900 to purchase a special safe room for Oskar, who is on the autism spectrum.

The space, which is also portable, would allow him to go on holidays and also to play in a safe area while Miss Hollings carries out the basic tasks she is currently unable to do.

She said: 'I first noticed something was different about Oskar when he was ten months old.

'I used to take him to a music group and he couldn't stand the noise or people clapping. He had not starting walking by the time he was over a year old and his balance was off. He also had what they call stims, where he would self-stimulate by shaking his head and rolling his eyes.'

Jackie Hollings is raising money to create a safe soft play area in her home for her 2-year-old auti

Jackie Hollings is raising money to create a safe soft play area in her home for her 2-year-old autistic son Oskar, who has outgrown his playpen.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY


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There were also other symptoms which included lack of eye contact and 'babbling' rather than speaking.

Miss Hollings, who has three other children - Ryan 24, Laura, 22, and Ellie, 16 - said she knew from comparing her other children that Oskar's development was different.

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'He has to wait until he is three to be diagnosed, but at the moment he has suspected Autism Spectrum Disorder, as well as sensory processing issues and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder,' she added.

Oskar has now out-grown his playpen and is no longer safe in a rocker chair. And at the moment Miss Hollings is unable to carry out basic tasks while Oskar is awake, which includes cooking hot meals or preparing meals for herself.

Miss Hollings has had to look at other solutions to keep Oskar safe while she cares for him.

Safespaces is a company which specialises in providing safe, living and sleeping spaces for people with special needs. Fitters from the company have already assessed Oskar's needs and now Miss Hollings is hoping to raise the £2,900 needed to purchase a Voyager area.

'This would mean he is able to play in a safe area while I carry out other essential tasks both for myself and around the house. I would also be able to take it with us, which would mean we could go on holiday together - something which would be impossible at the moment.'

Miss Hollings wants to hold a charity comedy club to help raise funds and has enlisted the help of her friend Emma Hampton.

The idea, if successful, could mean a charity comedy club could continue with the aim of raising money for other people in need in the city.

• If you can help with the organisation of the charity comedy club or want to get involved please email queries and offers of help to donna-louise.bishop@archant.co.uk, where they will be forwarded on to Miss Hollings.

• Are you doing something special for charity? Email Donna-Louise Bishop or call 01603 772568.

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