Whittlesey people join forces to raise more than £8,500 for local girl Effie in a family fun day

Charity Fun Day for Effie Hadman at Whittlesey Athletic Football Club. Picture: ROB MORRIS

Charity Fun Day for Effie Hadman at Whittlesey Athletic Football Club. Picture: ROB MORRIS - Credit: Archant

A football themed fun day and online auction has raised more than £8,500 in just two and a half weeks for four year old Whittlesey girl Effie Hadman.

Charity Fun Day for Effie Hadman at Whittlesey Athletic Football Club. Picture: ROB MORRIS

Charity Fun Day for Effie Hadman at Whittlesey Athletic Football Club. Picture: ROB MORRIS - Credit: Archant

The money is being put towards a hi-tech bath costing £13,000 so that Effie, who suffers from the rare disorder, Batten’s Disease, can enjoy a daily soak to help relax her muscles.

Currently, having a bath involves three people to support Effie as she has no control over her limbs and struggles to support her head.

Her mum Carly said: “We can’t believe how much has been raised in such a short space of time and are incredibly grateful to everybody for supporting us.

“It means we can order the bath this week which should be here within six weeks. Bath times are not easy. At the moment Grandma gets in with Effie in a swimsuit while me and Paul help to support her.

Charity Fun Day for Effie Hadman at Whittlesey Athletic Football Club. Picture: ROB MORRIS

Charity Fun Day for Effie Hadman at Whittlesey Athletic Football Club. Picture: ROB MORRIS - Credit: Archant


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“The bath raises and lowers from the floor. It uses a hoist to lower Effie into it and support her head. It means I can bathe her on my own.

“Her arms and legs jerk but when she is in warm water she totally calms. Watching her relax and enjoy a bath is very therapeutic for her. It will be lovely that it can be a daily treat for her.

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“It’s becoming difficult to find activities Effie can enjoy now as she struggles to support her head and her eyesight is failing.”

When Effie was diagnosed with Batten’s Disease, a terminal neuro-degenerative disorder, Carly and Paul gave up their jobs and moved from the Midlands back to Whittlesey so they could enjoy as much time as possible with Effie with support from her grandparents, who live in the town where the couple grew up.

The family fun day, which raised thousands for them was organised by Colin Martin and Simon Flanz.

Mr Martin said: “Effie’s story has really touched people locally. We raised £3,946 from an online auction of donated goodies and gifts in the run up to the day and the rest from the day itself. It’s staggering.

“I am now determined to hit the £10,000 mark. There will be other fund raising events coming up.”

The day saw Mr Martin’s team, the now disbanded Whittlesey REC beat Posh Legends by 3-1.

Among those playing for the Legends was POSH manager Dave Robertson, Julian Joachim, David Farrell, Jackie Gallagher, Lee Jordan and Lee Hewer.

Mr Martin said: “On the day a man came to the gate and said he didn’t want to attend but he donated £50 and walked off. Amazing.”

“After the event everybody went to Hubs Place where an auction prize of a holiday in Skegness was won by Micky Burch who donated it to me and my wife as a thank-you for organising the event. What a day,” he said.

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