Turners Hill charity building brighter futures for families

Fiona and Richard Smith have set up a charity called Sullivan's Heroes, named after their son, to help parents like them adapt their homes for disabled children - picture submitted
Fiona and Richard Smith have set up a charity called Sullivan's Heroes, named after their son, to help parents like them adapt their homes for disabled children - picture submitted

A Turners Hill couple, who recently launched a charity to help families fund home adaptations for disabled children, has thanked their supporters.

Set up in memory of their son, Sullivan’s Heroes was set up 18 months ago by Fiona and Richard Smith who were adapting their own property for their disabled son.

Fiona and Richard Smith have set up a charity called Sullivan's Heroes, named after their son, to help parents like them adapt their homes for disabled children - picture submitted

Fiona and Richard Smith have set up a charity called Sullivan's Heroes, named after their son, to help parents like them adapt their homes for disabled children - picture submitted

Discovering there was little in the way of financial assistance to help families and their disabled children in this way, they started fundraising to meet the costs of the adaptations.

Aged three Sullivan passed away in January 2015 shortly before the work on their home was complete, but the couple have worked in their son’s memory to build brighter futures for other families.

Some face sums as vast as £8,000 just to install a ramp outside their home.

Richard said: “It has taken us over 18 months to overcome all the hurdles to get Sullivan’s Heroes off the ground, but we are absolutely delighted that we have now been able to realise this incredibly important resource in our son’s memory for families who are in the same situation we were, with nowhere to turn.

He added: “We don’t have the skills to save lives, but we certainly have the ability to change lives and that is what we are setting out to do, just like the many people who have helped us as parents and Sullivan throughout his life.”

As well as fundraising to provide grants for families towards their child’s home adaptations, where the costs often exceed that of a council grant awarded, the charity also provides a website platform where families can start their own fundraising.

They have so far had two families sign up for fundraising towards their child’s new fully accessible bedroom and bathroom.

But to help more, the couple is appealing for donations and support from businesses and individuals.

They were delighted to have received significant support from ethical pet retailer Pets Corner this year with an initial £6,000 donation, plus a further pledge to donate £5,000 per year.

Other companies have also generously donated both funds and resource, such as Hawkeye Design who built the charity’s website; Treetop Design and Print who have produced promotional material; Watson Associates and InVent Health. The charity has also received support from individuals kindly undertaking sponsored events and activities.

Fiona and Richard would like to thank all those that have helped them get to this point.

Anyone who would like to donate or run an event to support Sullivan’s Heroes, apply for a grant or find out more can contact the couple via the website www.sullivansheroes.org