A community make-over appeal to transform a family home to help a three-year-old boy with a rare medical condition has sparked an overwhelming response.
Last week, the Gazette teamed up with Alnwick-based MKM Building Supplies to launch our Aid For Aidan campaign.
The DIY SOS-themed initiative aims to convert the house which young Aidan Jackowiak Smith’s family are set to purchase on Friday.
The youngster has been diagnosed with Cloves Syndrome, suffering severe swelling to his face and left-side of his body.
The family are moving into the property, at Fire Station Cottages, in Alnwick, because their current Shilbottle home is becoming unsuitable for Aidan’s needs as he gets older.
But the town house is in a bad state of repair, unsuitable for any family to move in to, let alone one which has to cater for the tot’s condition.
Doors need to be widened to allow for wheelchair access, a new entrance, with ramp, is to be built at the side of the house and the family also hopes to create a special sensory garden and a decking area, where a dilapidated conservatory currently stands.
Then there’s the issues of replacing the boiler that doesn’t work, tackling a damp problem, rewiring the electrics and sealing a hole in the living-room ceiling, as well as decorating and plastering.
That is why we stepped in. And since launching the campaign on Thursday, the Gazette has been inundated with offers of help.
Companies from around Northumberland, and further afield, have come forward, offering to lend a hand to various tasks, including roofing, plastering and tiling.
Residents of all ages have also said they will help, volunteering their time to decorate the house, as well as clear the garden, which is badly overgrown and needs landscaping, and donating wallpaper.
Gazette editor Paul Larkin said: “The response to our Aid For Aidan appeal has been tremendous and once again demonstrates people’s generosity and kindness.
“It has really touched the hearts of our readers who have come forward to help brave Aidan and his family.”
If you can help, call the Gazette on 01665 602234 and ask to speak to Paul Larkin or James Willoughby.
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