A MOTHER’S wish to see her disabled daughter walk is one that people were only to happy to try and help grant 25 years ago today.
Gillian Archbold’s inspirational story first captured the hearts of Express readers back in November 1987, when she was trying to raise money to take daughter Sabrina to Budapest for treatment for her cerebral palsy.
She said: “One night we got a knock on the door that helped bring us to everyone’s attention.
“It was former Wakefield MP David Hinchliffe, who was canvassing for votes, and a cheeky eight-year-old Sabrina said we would vote for him if he donated £5 to her campaign. Before we knew it we were in the Wakefield Express and on the telly.”
The £12,000 they needed was raised in no time when the Express and ITV’s Calendar launched campaigns in the youngster’s name.
Doctors at the Peto clinic in Budapest were confident Sabrina would soon be walking, but the family were in for huge disappointment when surgery she needed to undergo prior to the trip was refused by the NHS.
Mrs Archbold said: “We were devastated, but I decided to turn a negative into a positive and use the money to help other disabled children and their families.”
Since then Mrs Archbold has helped thousands of families.
She set up the Special Abilities charity 15 years ago, which became Kidz Aware in 2006.
Based at Jubilee Hall in Lupset, it provides information, support and advice to parents and carers of disabled children and adults, as well as training for them and professionals.
The social enterprise, which 33-year-old Sabrina helps to run, also does a lot of work in schools.
Mrs Archbold said: “Sabrina is my inspiration. She has grown into a confident and amazing young woman that other children aspire to be like. “
The pair are tireless fundraisers, who are out every weekend to help raise the £13,000 a year they desperately need to keep going.
The anniversary of the start of Gillian’s fundraising crusade will be celebrated with a party at Sandal Rugby Club today.
Congratulating the pair, former David Hinchliffe said “I have been great admirers of them for many years and have some great memories of them. They are brave and courageous women, who have done so much for so many.”