The mum of a 12-year-old girl with Down’s syndrome has issued a call for help to replace her much-loved play equipment in the garden of her home.
Killearn mum Chrissy Taylor has given up her job as a nurse to care for 12-year-old Bronte Dargue and says she has exhausted traditional avenues of financial support to replace the crumbling equipment – with no access to private funding available.
It has led her to launch an online fundraiser in an attempt to restore Bronte’s favorite play equipment – including a swing and trampoline – as well as erecting a fence and gate in the garden to ensure that Bronte is kept safe.
On the online fundraising page, Chrissy writes: “We are lucky enough to have a garden, and over the years, she has had various outdoor toys and play equipment and used them all lots.
“We have sometimes been able to pass them on to others when she has outgrown them if they have been in a safe state of repair. She had open heart surgery in 2017 and recovered brilliantly.
“The play equipment is another way to continue to keep her heart healthy.
“In fact, during the first lockdown in 2020, Bronte was shielding for many months and didn’t leave the confines of the garden. We are grateful that we had a garden compared to so many others during that time.
“Bronte is now 12 and her Down’s syndrome means she is particularly prone to weight gain and thyroid problems.
“Her current swing is struggling to support her vigorous use. Like most swings, it is designed for younger, lighter children.
“Her garden swing is her favorite thing in the world and she spends as much time on it as she can. The current one is not destined to live much longer.
“Her trampoline is damaged beyond repair. She has rebound therapy at her school and it’s been great for exercise, balance and co-ordination and good fun. Research points me to a round, in-ground trampoline as being the safest replacement.”
So far, the appeal has raised £355 towards the target goal of £1,630 – with the funds being sent to a ringfenced account run by Bronte’s big sister Beth Taylor in order to be used to fund the new equipment.
Chrissy told the Observer: “A friend was recently able to do a temporary repair on the swings, but the rest of it won’t hold and will be coming down around her ears shortly.
“When she is playing on her swings, she is having little conversations with herself and all of it is peppered with her infectious laugh – she laughs all the time when she playing in the garden.
“Anyone who meets her loves her because she’s really fun and friendly; all children are amazing and unique, but she she’s a Bronte and a complete force of nature.
“I don’t have the money or means to replace the equipment myself so hopefully things can come together because it will be great to see her face light up if we can get it sorted.”
If you wish to support Chrissy’s appeal, then you can visit gofundme.com/f/help-bronte-exercise-and-play-safely