Associated British Ports pulls out the stops for Alastair

November 8, 2013

A nine-year-old Hull boy who suffers from a rare genetic condition will soon benefit from a brand new sensory garden thanks to staff at Associated British Ports (ABP) in Hull and Goole, who have spent the last year fundraising.

Alastair Smith (9), who has Angelman Syndrome, has been presented with a cheque for more than £3,000 after the company selected ‘Helping Alastair’ as their chosen charity for 2013.

The organisation was nominated by Steve Horton, ABP Senior Projects Technician, who is a close friend of the family and knew any donations would be very much appreciated by  them.

Steve explained: “When I first saw the request for nominations, there was simply no hesitation in the decision to put Alastair forward. The remit was for a good cause with both a local interest and a national charity – and how could anyone refuse once they had met Alastair?

“If the ABP charity of the year was developed for anything – surely this was exactly it?”

Staff at the company’s Hull and Goole ports were so taken with Alastair’s story, they opted to spend the year fundraising to help his parents, Adam and Jenn, build a covered sensory garden, to allow Alastair to spend more time outside with his friends. The money raised will also be put towards a Hippocampe, a specialist off-road wheelchair that will allow Alastair to accompany his family on walks and to the beach, as it can be used on sand and in water.

“This money is going to make a huge difference to us,” said Jenn Smith. “Alastair has lots of friends and loves being outside with them, but as he can’t walk and has to crawl, it’s very difficult for him to join them when the weather’s bad. This donation will help us build a covered area in the sensory garden so he can spend more time outdoors.

“We’re also hoping to buy a specialist wheelchair that can be used on all types of ground – even sand. It can also be taken into the water and as Alastair loves water and kayaking in particular, a new chair will give him so much more freedom.

“We’re really grateful to staff of ABP for their really generous donation; we can’t thank them enough.”

As well as prize draws, cake stalls and raffles, brave ABP staff have also taken to the water in a sponsored swim across the Humber. Donations have also been made by the company’s social committee. Staff at ABP raised a total of £3,312.

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