Observer launches Bethany’s brighter future campaign

Three-year-old Bethany Chiddle with her mother Kerry, left, and Clare McTernan. C120588-3
Three-year-old Bethany Chiddle with her mother Kerry, left, and Clare McTernan. C120588-3
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The Observer is appealing to people across the area to plunge into their pockets and help a Felpham girl walk.

As part of the Bethany’s brighter future campaign, the Observer wants to help brave Bethany Chiddle and her family and friends raise as much as money as possible so she can undergo a special operation in Bristol.

Three-year-old Bethany has cerebral palsy and her family are hoping the £30,000 operation will help her overcome the disability.

Her mother, Kerry, said the fund to pay for Beth’s life-changing operation had reached nearly £9,000.

A huge chunk of the cash was raised when some 206 fancy-footed fundraisers swayed, shimmied and spun their way to £2,460 during a charity zumbathon.

The event was organised by Clare McTernan, who runs Rosemary Conley diet and fitness clubs across the area.

“I am really pleased with how everything went it was fantastic,” she said.

“Originally I had been hoping to raise around the £1,500 mark so to get beyond that really was fantastic.”

At the close of the event it was left up to Bethany to pick raffle winners, with prizes including a Brighton and Hove Albion football shirt, bringing in another £100.

To make sure all proceeds from the campaign went straight to Bethany, Clare arranged for sponsors to cover the cost of the venue and donate the stage, sound and lighting.

Kerry said: “The amount raised by the zumbathon is fantastic.

“It is the biggest amount raised in a single event for Bethany so far. We are all really pleased.”

Family and friends have a lot of other fundraisers planned.

A team of 10 ran in the Bognor Prom 10k on Sunday (May 20) and a mini-Euro 2012 five-a-side football tournament of 16 teams is being held at The Arena on June 2.

Bethany goes back to hospital in Bristol on June 1 where it is hoped she will be given the go-ahead for the operation. This cannot take place until she is four.

It will improve the quality of her movement by enabling her to use her muscles correctly instead of the stiffness she now suffers.