Retired Sheringham GP launches charity to help cerebral palsy children including his three-year-old grandson
- Credit: Archant
A former Sheringham GP has set up a charity to buy specialist equipment for youngsters with disabilities, after seeing the difficulties his grandson faced when born with cerebral palsy.
Moss Taylor, who was a doctor at Sheringham health centre for 22 years, has launched the charity Love for Leo in honour of his youngest grandson.
Leo lives in Norwich with his parents, Andy and May, his twin sister Tiger Lily and his seven-year-old brother Zach.
The three-year-old spent 10 days in the neonatal intensive care unit at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital after a lack of oxygen at birth resulted in him having cerebral palsy.
The disorder left him with speech difficulties, as well as limited mobility in three of his limbs.
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Dr Taylor said: 'Leo is a happy little boy who is always smiling and is absolutely fine mentally - there is no question he knows exactly what we mean.
'But he does find talking an effort and can only properly use his left arm.'
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The youngster, who communicates with his family using sign language, has recently begun to crawl and, seeing the problems he had getting about, Dr Taylor realised that he might need extra help in the future, including specialist equipment not provided by the NHS.
With his partner Robina Churchyard, who was a practice manager at her late husband's Sheringham dental surgery, Dr Taylor came up with the idea of setting up a charity to support youngsters with cerebral palsy.
'His parents are determined that Leo will be brought up like any other child – he goes to nursery with his twin sister and has already been accepted at a mainstream school in Norwich,' he said.
'But, thinking long-term, he will need lifelong support, which is why we wanted to help children like Leo to get the equipment they need to enjoy a better quality of life.'
Dr Taylor and Mrs Churchyard have both been heavily involved in local charity projects. He was a founder of the now defunct Sheringham Children's Trust, which supported youngsters who had lost a parent.
She raised more than £40,000 for local and national animal sanctuaries through her own charity, Animal Crackers.
After taking early retirement in 1994, Dr Taylor penned a string of birding books and wrote more than 500 'In the Countryside' nature columns for the EDP.
The couple have already raised £500 for Love for Leo, with Dr Taylor donating half the proceeds of a wildlife talk he gave at Sheringham Little Theatre. Mrs Churchyard has sold home-made preserves and garden produce and Dr Taylor's 11-year-old grand-daughter Charlotte ran a cake stall at Sheringham High School.
Future plans include Dr Taylor hoping to do a second talk in October and donate the proceeds from the sale of In the Countryside, a book featuring 50 of his EDP columns.
'What we would like to do eventually is to have a big pot of money so that we can support lots of children,' Mrs Churchyard said.
Anyone wanting to support Love for Leo by making a donation, by buying a copy of Moss Taylor's book, In the Countryside, or by running a fundraising event, can contact Mrs Churchyard on 01263 823588.