The mother of inspirational youngster Cameron Harper – who has cerebral palsy – has launched a support group for children with disabilities and their families.
Nicola Harper, together with two friends, launched the ‘Appy Familiz’ group on Friday to offer youngsters and their parents the chance to meet other families and share their experiences.
The group, for children aged up to 16, meets at The Hut in Airedale every Friday from 4pm to 6pm.
Mrs Harper, 39, said: “The launch event was absolutely amazing. It went really well but it was quite emotional at the same time.
“All the mums were able to share their experiences and it was just so nice to see the kids happy and without any worries.”
Mrs Harper said she wanted to give something back to the Castleford community for the help and support shown to Cameron.
She added: “I wanted to give something back to all the people who have helped us. Saying thank you just doesn’t seem enough. I used to work as a carer and I thought this would be a great way to repay everyone.”
The new group provides entertainment for children including bowling, arts and crafts, games, cooking, karaoke, fancy dress, computers, and minibus hire for day trips.
Mrs Harper has set it up with her friend Gemma Synnott– whose daughter Morgan, 13, also suffers from cerebal palsy – and Gemma’s sister Amy Brain.
Mrs Harper added: “It’s a chance for the kids to have fun in a safe environment for a couple of hours.
“It also allows parents to share views and opinions with others in similar positions. When Cameron was younger there was nowhere for him to go.
“We want this group to be somewhere where kids and parents can go and make friends.”
Pontefract and Castleford MP Yvette Cooper helped launch the group at the event last week.
She said: “This is a great chance for families with disabled children to help and support each other. Nicola and the other parents have done a brilliant job putting this group together.
“This is a great chance for mums, dads and children to all get together have a good time as well as get the support they need.”
Mrs Harper and husband Paul, of Pasture Drive, Whitwood, are hoping Cameron will undergo Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy surgery (SDR) at Leeds General Infirmary, which will help him walk for the first time, in January or February.
She added: “Cameron is absolutely fine and is really excited about his operation, he can’t wait.”
For more information search ‘Appy Familiz’ on Facebook.