Little Caleb inspires M&S to create special needs clothing line for children

Caleb with his mum, Zoe Hardcastle.

Caleb with his mum, Zoe Hardcastle.

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The family of a brave little boy has teamed up with Marks & Spencer to launch a new range of clothing for children with special needs.

Caleb Kutt was diagnosed with dystonic quadriparesis cerebral palsy, which means he has little head control and is unable to sit, stand or walk.

Doctors also found he had a rare genetic condition called 15q 112 microdeletion, which caused delays in his development. Caleb is unable to speak, he is fed through a tube in his stomach and has epilepsy.

Caleb’s mum, Zoe Hardcastle, struggled to find clothes suitable for her three-year-old son as he still uses nappies and uses his feeding tube daily.

Miss Hardcastle’s mother-in-law, Rita Kutt, wrote to M&S asking them to consider a new line of clothing to cater for children with similar conditions to Caleb.

The retailer started creating the clothes, which included body suits, sleep suits and vests with poppers. The items will be sold on the company’s website from next week.

Mrs Kutt said: “We are delighted. The clothes which are suitable for Caleb are sold by smaller retailers but cost up to £12 each for a vest, which is expensive for any family.

“M&S will sell the items at between £3 and £7 which will make a huge difference.”

After pitching the idea to M&S, the retailer sent samples of clothing to Miss Hardcastle for her son to try.

She said: “It is so beneficial because it means he is comfortable and he can still use his feeding tube. Most clothes just don’t allow him to use it.”

Mrs Kutt created a Facebook page called M&S and Me. Special needs clothing for children to promote the range.

She said: “It has had more than 30,000 shares. It went viral. Families all around the world were getting in touch saying it was a great idea.”

Caleb’s family have also set up a fundraising page to help pay for physiotherapy sessions, which they hope will one day enable him to walk.

Miss Hardcastle, of Greenaches, Ossett, said: “Physiotherapy is extremely important for Caleb’s development and early intervention is absolute key. We only received physiotherapy once a month on the NHS so for the last two years we have gone private.”

The weekly, one hour sessions cost £55 each. Caleb’s family hopes to raise £1,500.

Miss Hardcastle said: “We want to do everything we can for Caleb and we’d be over the moon to see him walk.”

To donate, log onto www.gofundme.com/n563vthr.