Sat, 24 Dec 2016
A NEWBURY youngster has completed a sponsored swim to help buy a special bed for his friend who lives with a severe disability.
Six-year-old Ted Taylor swam 10 lengths of the Northcroft pool to raise funds for his pal, Otis Bennet, who was born with a rare chromosome disorder.
The condition means four-year-old Otis cannot walk or speak and is tube-fed.
Ted and his mother Laura are hoping to raise around £2,500 to buy a special travel bed for Otis to allow him to go away with his family.
And so Ted, a keen swimmer, chose to take to the water for the sponsored swim earlier this month.
Mrs Taylor said: “He just loves the water; he’s like a fish.
“We’ve always taken him swimming since he had his jabs and we take him for lessons, so he’s quite a strong swimmer for his age.
“He did it really quickly, I’m so proud of him.”
The Winchcombe School pupil was encouraged by Otis and his brother Jago as he front-crawled his way along a closed-off lane at the Northcroft pool – completing the feat in an impressive 10 minutes.
“He was just very relaxed about it and composed,” explained his mother.
“It means a lot to him to help Otis.
“He’s very aware of what Otis can’t do compared to his younger brother as they’re both the same age.”
Also there to cheer the big-hearted youngster on in his challenge was Otis’ mother Samantha.
Speaking to the Newbury Weekly News after the event, she said: “It’s amazing what Ted’s done.
“It was emotional watching him, to see a little boy, not much older than Otis, do this.
“I just can’t believe how much they’ve raised.
“The cot will make such a difference.
“At the moment he has to come home when his brother is staying at his cousin’s for a sleepover, meaning he misses out. And to think we could even take him abroad on holiday.”
So far Ted and his mother have raised more than £2,000 towards their target and are hoping for a final fundraising push to be able to buy the special travel cot before Christmas.
“Ted did the swim and I’ve done a sponsored spin class,” explained Mrs Taylor.
“We’ve got more than £2,000 already, so I’m hoping that we can just push on to get the £3,000 and buy the cot for Otis before Christmas.
“We’ve arranged a Christmas cake sale too.”
To help Ted and his mother reach their target visit https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/Ted-swims-for-Otis