13 May How ponies are helping a four-year-old Brentwood boy with disabilities
Albert Said, nearly 5, from Brentwood, Essex was diagnosed with rare genetic disorder Pitt Hopkins Syndrome last year. He cannot crawl, walk or talk and relies on a lot of sensory input.
As well as enjoying lights, he also loves his hippotherapy sessions (physiotherapy on ponies) sessions at local riding centre REACH. His family are now raising money to help him continue the sessions, as well as for other physiotherapy, which he needs weekly and equipment.
Mum Carly, 33, an office administrator and permanent make up artist said: ‘When he’s on the pony initially I thought he was just sitting there while she is walked. But the sessions have taught him to hold the reins and really improved his core strength, which in turn helps with his movement.’
‘Albert will always need support from different therapists and rely on equipment to help him become as independent as possible. We have set our initial goal at £10,000, which may sound like a lot, but his annual physio sessions alone cost £4,420 each year, and costs are ongoing.’
In recent years Carly, her electrician husband Bradley, 36, and their supporters have helped raised money for local therapy centre SNAP. As costs for Albert have increased, they have now teamed up with charity Tree of Hope in order to able to raise funds securely for Albert directly.
Past events have included sponsored walks and mud runs. Carly is currently part-way through a ‘1000 hours of spinning’ challenge for May and her brother Louie Callaghan is planning a sponsored ‘four rounds of golf in a day’ challenge with friends.
The family are supported by Children’s charity Tree of Hope, which helps families fundraise for children like Albert with healthcare needs and provides charity status to benefit from gift aid, corporate support whilst also providing donor reassurance.
Tree of Hope CEO Gill Gibb said: ‘We are delighted to be supporting the Said family with their fundraising and wish them all the best.’
To donate to Albert’s fund, visit https://www.treeofhope.org.uk/albert-said/