Sheringham Masons provide wheelchair boost for disabled girl Emily Godfrey

A brand new bright pink wheelchair is on its way to six-year-old disabled Sheringham girl Emily Godfrey thanks to the help of local Freemasons.

Emily was born three months premature and suffers from a debilitating mixture of cerebral palsy, curvature of the spine and epilepsy as well as heart and lung problems.

She cannot stand, sit or talk and single parent mum Claire Godfrey has had to raise �6,500 over the years to buy her first wheelchair and a special bed.

Emily has now outgrown the chair and needs a new one. Friends and family had been doing fund-raising but the local Masons heard about her needs and donated �2,500 towards the �6,500 chair.

Mrs Godfrey, 37, from Beeston Common, said she was really grateful as the chair would make a 'huge difference' with its off-road wheels allowing them to get to the kind of places children loved to go such as the beach and woods. The new chair also laid flat to help with caring for Emily. It would be bright pink like her current one, and like everything else in her bedroom, she added.

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Emily has been attending Woodfields special school in the town for three years, which has helped boost communication skills and given her mum some respite time for doing voluntary work and also caring for nine-year-old son Oliver.

Local hardware store director Chris Wright who is Worshipful Master of the Sheringham 6621 Masonic lodge said they raised the funds in about four weeks.

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A �230 raffle at the lodge was boosted by �165 from the sale of table decorations at a ladies' night event with wife Kristi. Other lodges using the Sheringham Masonic centre also weighed in with Baring giving �200 and North Norfolk �300. There were also donations of �100 from the Shriners and �134 from the Royal and Select Masters. And Provincial Almoner Tony Bothway also got a �1,000 grant from a Norfolkwide Lestrange Fund.

Mr Wright said he was using his year in office to help children's charities which had included the pre-school music association, local primary school and kit for youth footballers which saw the 81-strong lodge donate another �1000.

The Freemasons was a social organisation which supported its members and their relatives but also local and international good causes, through the giving of Masons members rather than 'bucket rattling' he added.

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