Appeal success for Sophie

And she's off: Sophie Clarke, with brother Lewis by her side, on her new trike. Pictured behind are Mike English, Mandy Seaton (centre) and Krystal Marr. Photo: MFCP11AF05345. Order copies on 01945-586100.
And she's off: Sophie Clarke, with brother Lewis by her side, on her new trike. Pictured behind are Mike English, Mandy Seaton (centre) and Krystal Marr. Photo: MFCP11AF05345. Order copies on 01945-586100.
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AS three-year-old Sophie Clarke gets strapped into her new trike, a big grin never leaves her face.

It is clear how pleased she is with her specially adapted trike and her family want to thank everyone who helped them get it, raising more than £3,000 in the process.

Mandy Seaton and Brian Clarke appealed through the Citizen for help to buy their daughter, who is badly affected by cerebral palsy, an adapted trike. As the trike cost more than £1,000, they could not afford it but did not want her to miss out, especially as her twin brother Lewis, who also has cerebral palsy, can ride a bicycle with stabilisers.

Mike English, headteacher at Clarkson Infants’ School in Wisbech where Sophie and Lewis attend nursery, stepped up and offered to order the trike through the school so she could get it faster.

It arrived just over a week ago and Sophie has been on it almost every day.

Mandy said: “It’s been amazing how the community and friends all want to help. It was very emotional and overwhelming when our first donations came in.

“It was also lovely to talk and listen to other families who have children with cerebral palsy. A really big thank you to everyone, particularly Mr English.”

One of the largest donations came from parent helper Krystal Marr, who came up with the idea of appealing for help and raised £550.

Other notable donations came from the Sunshine Club, Fen Ladies’ Darts, Paperbox, Wisbech Rotary Club, Premier Foods and the Six Ringers pub.

The remaining money, once the school has been paid back for the trike, will go to Clarkson and could potentially help Mr English’s ambitious plans to build a swimming pool.