‘Brilliant’ support to help Jaye to walk
Published on: 03 Mar 2014
A LITTLE boy who longs to walk unaided has captured the hearts of people in Downend and around the area.
Many are rallying round to help raise the £35,000 needed to pay for an operation for five-year-old Jaye Cook.
Teresa Bird, a lettings agent at Andrews in Downend, raised more than £500 at her workplace and her three adult children have now got involved.
Mike Reedy, landlord of the Beaufort Hunt pub, held a charity night that raised £1,200.
Firefighters are backing the cause with a range of activities and Tom May, from St George, is to run the Marathon des Sables, 155 miles over six days in the Sahara Desert, for the cause.
Jaye lives with his mum and dad, Melanie and Martin, sisters Daisy, 10 and Macey, six, and one-year-old brother Sonny in Kingswood and attends Two Mile Hill Primary School.
He was born ten weeks prematurely and diagnosed with cerebral palsy at 18 months. An operation known as selective dorsal rhizotomy should enable him to walk without the aid of frames – but it is not funded by the NHS.
Martin Cook said the family was overwhelmed by the support of hundreds of strangers.
“I am absolutely amazed how people are willing to help. It is brilliant,” he said.
Jaye and his mum went along to Andrew in Downend last month to receive a cheque.
Teresa Bird said: “It was the first time I had met them. He is such a sweet lad and did bring a tear to my eyes.”
Teresa’s son Craig Price, 26, was due to make a 13,000ft skydive in Los Angelese for the fund and her daughters Charlotte Coverdale and Natalie Lane have already held a pamper night. Charlotte is organising a spiritual night at the Rose and Crown in Two Mile Hill on March 18.
The family said that although they did not know Jaye, they were touched by his plight.
This was also the case for Tom May, who had already signed up for the desert challenge and is aiming to raise at least £10,000.
Fireman Mike Collin, who lives in Fishponds and based at Speedwell Fire Station, said he was immediately motivated to help after Jaye and his mum visited the station.
“ I am determined that Jaye will have that opportunity to dramatically improve his quality of life by the end of the year and I will not stop fundraising until that operation becomes a reality,” he said.
Mike has got many of his colleagues involved in a number of initiatives. The most ambitious involves 45 firefighters, who will be running in relay for six and a half days, on a treadmill in firekit and wearing a breathing apparatus set.
The 900-mile epic will take place May 4-10 at Cabot Circus, Bristol. Thirty of the firefighters will be running the equivalent distance of a marathon and the other 15 will be running a half marathon. Firefighters are also staging an eight-hour “Double Everest” ladder climb at The Mall, Cribbs Causeway, on May 3.
A collection at the first monthly training sessions on a treadmill at Asda in Longwell Green raised £2209.
HOW TO HELP
You can contribute directly to Jaye’s fund at
The firefighters’ fund-raising is at
or text JAYE50 to 70070
To back Tom’s effort, visit www.justgiving.com/Tom
To support Craig’s skydive, go to www.justgiving.com/craggleprice