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Couple ‘overwhelmed’ by local support

A FAMILYfrom Melksham has expressed sincere thanks for the support from the community so far in helping them to try and raise £15,000 to make essential life changing improvements to their home.

John and Sally Howell and their family and friends need to raise £15,000 to covert their garage into a downstairs bedroom and wet room for John who has motor neurone disease (MND).

Sally said, “The response to our appeal has been overwhelming and very emotional for us both.  The local small traders, hotels and certain national named outlets all in and around Melksham and as far as Lacock have responded to our fundraising in an unbelievable way by giving or pledging donations for forthcoming raffles and auctions.

“The total so far has  reached £3,950 on the crowd funding website but over and above this, we have received many kind letters which have contained cheques, whilst friends have shown their support with gifts of cash and the total at present is £5,200.

“To all these people we cannot thank you enough, it really does mean a lot to us and shows the generosity of the people of the Melksham area, friends and our ex-work colleagues.

“There will be three events taking place in Melksham in order to raise more finance towards our appeal. There will be a Tea Dance on Sunday 17th April at the Melksham Conservative Club, a Quiz Night on Wednesday 20th  April at The Bear, Weatherspoon where a local man namely Maff Prout will have his head shaved (and he has already had pledged a considerable sum of money). Then finally on 25th June there will be a Barn Dance at the Melksham Conservative Club.

“There will be a raffle at all three events thanks to the generous donation of prizes. A huge thank you to our friends who are organising these events.

“Some prize donations are of a higher value and include meals at several well-know establishments in and around Melksham plus vouchers for other services, and it is intended to auction these at a date yet to be arranged. Details of these events and more can be found on www. helpjohn howell.co.uk.

“John has now lost all use of one arm and hand whilst the other also has very little use left.  His legs are weaker and he has had a stairlift provided by the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

“He is now an MND campaigner for this area and hopes to continue to raise the profile of this cruel, incurable and fatal disease.  He has already discussed MND recently on BBC Radio Wiltshire and had our local MP Michelle Donelan visited him to discuss the plight of MND sufferers and draw attention to the lack of Government funding for research into the disease.

“We still have a long way to go, but it is hoped to start the building project in June.”

You can still donate at  crowdfunding.justgiving.com/garageconversion