Wimbledon fire-fighters help cerebral palsy tot Neave

READY TO ROLL: Red Watch of Wimbledon fire station, South London, prepare for their cycling challenge. (s)

READY TO ROLL: Red Watch of Wimbledon fire station, South London, prepare for their cycling challenge. (s)

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“Help!” was the cry from a team of Wimbledon firefighters who will complete a momentous challenge in October to help raise money for The Rainbow Legacy House in the name of local girl Neave Evans.

The boys from Red Watch are more used to climbing ladders and damping down fires, but have seized the mantle after learning of Neave’s fundraising activities through her aunt, Rebecca Dunn, who grew up in Langho and now lives in London.

FACING HIS FEAR: Jan Evans with his daughter Neave. (s)

FACING HIS FEAR: Jan Evans with his daughter Neave. (s)

The ten-strong team of firefighters will cycle over 250 miles from their Wimbledon station in South London to The Rainbow Legacy House in Mawdesley, near Chorley, where Neave attends weekly to receive treatments and conductive therapy.

Seventeen-month-old Neave’s condition has been diagnosed as four-limb Cerebral Palsy as a result of complications at birth, which means she has poor muscle tone and cannot sit, walk or crawl.

Mum Maxine (35) gave up her job to care for Neave full-time, whilst dad Jan has started his own business in order to allow flexibility for Neave to attend appointments and receive the regular therapy she requires.

Jan (37), a former CRGS pupil said: “Neave receives regular NHS treatments such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech and language therapy. We were put in touch with The Legacy Rainbow House and now take her for half-day conductive therapy on Wednesdays which works her very hard to ensure she fulfils her full potential - their support has been invaluable.”

Family friend Adam Clarke who will take part in the ride commented: “It will be quite exhausting as we are taking on the ride as we’ll be coming straight off two days shifts followed by two nights. We are hoping to cover around 80 miles in the first two days and then 40-60 miles on the last day, depending on the weather and how we are coping generally.”

He continued “We would like to appeal for help with the challenge in the form of support from local businesses and any assistance with equipment, bikes and the general logistics of the trip. We would really appreciate it if anyone could help in even the smallest way.”

To sponsor the team, offer assistance or learn more about The Legacy Rainbow House and charities involved in Neave’s care, visit www.neaves-fund.org.uk or email jan@neaves-fund.org.uk