Sick children are given cash boost in Keighley

Caitlin Wood, one of the recipients of the Danny Ryan Award fund cash prizes, along with Jimmi-Alan Longley, left

Caitlin Wood, one of the recipients of the Danny Ryan Award fund cash prizes, along with Jimmi-Alan Longley, left

First published in News by

Youngsters coping with serious illnesses and adversity will be recognised and rewarded for their courage next month.

Five children have been selected for a £500 share of this year’s Danny Ryan Award fund.

The scheme is run by Holy Family Catholic School, and was set up 29 years ago after the death of the school’s former deputy headteacher, Danny Ryan.

Awards will be presented during a St Patrick’s dance, starting at 8pm on March 8 at Victoria Hall in Keighley. The night will feature performances by the Tom Healy Band, from Cork in Ireland.

Organiser, Sean Gilligan, who is an ex-Holy Family deputy headteacher, said: “The fund is still going well.

“There is money in the bank, but we’re always distributing it. We normally give out £2,000 to £2,500 a year.

“Five hundred pounds isn’t a lot of money, but it lets people know we are concerned and we are trying to do something to help. There is a lot of need out there.”

The 2014 young people chosen include 15-year-old Caitlin Wood, from Exley Head. She is a pupil at Beckfoot School and was born with cerebral palsy.

Her grandmother, Marian Morton, said Caitlin is a wheelchair user, needs a taxi to get to school and has one-to-one care.

“She finds her condition frustrating more than anything else,” she added. “We found out last week that she’d been picked for this award – it’s great stuff.

“I think Caitlin wants to use some of it to see Olly Murs in concert. She’s a big fan of his!”

Another beneficiary is six-year-old Jimmi-Alan Longley, from Cross Roads. The Stanbury Village School pupil has severe eczema, and also has other conditions, including asthma and a gastric complaint, which limits what he can eat.

His gran, Penny Dillon, said despite these problems, Jimmi-Alan is very active and plays football for a junior Silsden team. He is also an avid Bradford City FC supporter.

“I think it’s great he’s got this award,” Mrs Dillon added. “Because of his skin, he needs specialist clothes and bedding, which tend to be quite expensive.”

Tickets for the March 8 awards are £7.50, and can be bought on the door or booked in advance. Call 01535 603819 or 07582 549655.

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