MP hails support for Twins Appeal

MP Eric Ollerenshaw with Katie (left) and Emma Sutcliffe.
MP Eric Ollerenshaw with Katie (left) and Emma Sutcliffe.

Lancaster MP Eric Ollerenshaw this week backed our Twins Appeal and thanked the Lancaster community for their generosity.

Mr Ollerenshaw made a visit to see 15-year-old Katie and Emma Sutcliffe as they helped out at a fundraising craft fair at the weekend.

The event, organised by St Bernadette’s Brownies and their guider Emma Maudsley, raised more than £2,800.

And it helps take the amount raised so far for the appeal to more than £34,000.

Katie and Emma both suffer from spastic diplegic cerebral palsy, and need wheelchairs to get around as the condition causes pain and stiffness in their legs.

The Twins Appeal, backed by the Guardian, aims to raise the £85,000 needed for the sisters to undergo pioneering treatment in America which could see them walk unaided for the first time.

Saturday’s craft fair was labelled a big success by organisers.

Emma Maudsley said: “I’d like to thank everyone who came along, the Sutcliffe family and their friends, all the Brownies and their families, the stallholders and other members of GirlGuiding who helped make it such a success.”

The twins’ mum Caroline said: “The craft fair was amazing; I just want to say a big thank you to Emma for working so hard on organising the day and to all those people who helped and supported us on the day.

“I also want to say a a big thank you to Linda Griffiths who is baking cakes daily for the appeal.

“She baked some, at very short notice, on Saturday to be sold at the fair, and has baked cakes and delivered them to my house for me to sell at work.

“She is an extraordinary lady and I can’t thank her enough.”

After meeting the twins on Saturday, Mr Ollerenshaw said: “Just to hear how much complete strangers are doing to help raise money says so much about the determination of the Sutcliffe family and to be honest, the generosity of our community.

“My thanks go to the Guardian for highlighting this campaign, which of course begs the question why this operation is not available to Emma and Katie here – something for me to follow up on!”

Caroline said: “It was nice of Eric to come along and we would like to express our thanks to him.”

Other recent fundraising for the appeal includes a charity gig night on Thursday night organised by Megan Callan, a school friend of Katie and Emma’s, which raised more than £140.

The Bowland Bar at Lancaster University held a charity auction recently, raising £1,400.

Tomorrow, Friday, St Bernadette’s Primary School, which Katie and Emma attended, is holding a sponsored walk around the school with all proceeds going to the Twins Appeal.

On Saturday, Ashley Ferguson (who organised the Where’s Wally night) has organised a sponsored Halloween fancy dress pub crawl.

And the John O’ Gaunt Liberal Club, which is the local of Katie and Emma’s grandad, Barry Sutcliffe, is holding a charity night for the Twins Appeal on Thursday, November 1.

Caroline added: “If people want to organise an event themselves, please feel free to do so. I can be contacted via the Twins’ Appeal on Facebook.”

*A Japanese tea set offered by Lancaster resident Linda Lowerson has been sold, with the £50 proceeds being donated to the Twins Appeal.

And after seeing the crockery advertised for sale in the Guardian, Caton resident Douglas Hodgson got in touch to say he had two of the rare tea sets, which he would also like to sell in aid of the appeal.

Mr Hodgson, 73, sent the sets home as gifts while he served in Singapore in the RAF in the 1950s.

He is asking for a minimum of £50 each for the tea sets, which he will donate to the Sutcliffe family.

He also has a wooden musical cake stand from the same era which he is offering to sell, again for the appeal. Anyone who wishes to contact Mr Hodgson about the items can do so on 07984 958567.