THE family of Weymouth youngster Bradley Webber is celebrating after the government decided to reinstate their vital benefits.
And to make it a double celebration, donations have started to pour in for the Echo’s Bradley Appeal – a campaign to make life easier for the five-year-old and his loved ones.
Little Bradley suffers with a form of brain damage called lissencephaly, also known as smooth brain, and was not expected to live past his third birthday.
The rare disorder means the Weymouth youngster cannot hold his head up, walk or talk and his mum Ali says every day of his life is a blessing.
We launched the Bradley Appeal this week after the government cut off the five-year-old and his family’s £600-a-month benefits.
But in a shock move, the Department of Work and Pensions said it would reimburse the lost benefits and would increase Bradley’s allowance.
Without them the Chickerell family were set to lose almost £600 a month and their mobility car, which they rely on to get to his hospital appointments in Southampton.
Mum Ali said: “I was told a completely different story this time. They said a decision was made on Bradley’s disability living allowance application last week.
“And that he was awarded a high rate care and high rate mobility allowance.
“The only thing is that I won’t see a payment until June 24, which will include his normal pay and back pay.
“His award has risen so he gets more now. Perhaps they realised that I won’t be a walkover and I’ll do whatever it takes to get what my boy deserves. This time it is for three years so I don’t need to renew it every year anymore.”
The Government department told the Echo on Tuesday that it not received renewal forms in time.
However, mum Ali said the forms had been completed correctly and handed in several weeks before the deadline.
Bradley, who attends Wyvern school, has lessons each day in a bid to hold his head up for at least 30 seconds. The youngster is fed by a tube into his stomach and has seven types of daily medication including creams.
His condition was diagnosed when he was one.
Little Bradley is much-loved by his dad James and siblings Caitlyn, nine, six-year-old Tyler and the family’s newest addition – baby Felicity.
He and his family receive disability, mobility and carers’ allowance.
Brian leads the way
WEYMOUTH resident Brian Prowse has kindly led the way with a £240 donation to the Bradley Appeal.
He decided to help after reading about Bradley’s life-limiting condition.
Mr Prowse, of Dorset Close, added: “I try to help out when I can. I was really touched by Bradley’s story so decided to donate the two big jars of money I’ve been collecting. I hope it helps.”
Mum Ali thanked Brian who she says has demonstrated that there are still some ‘really, kind generous’ people in Dorset.
She told the Echo: “Bradley and the rest of the family thank you all from the deepest depths of our hearts. It’s nice to see there are still some really kind generous human beings remaining out there.”
How you can help
THE Dorset Echo has launched the Bradley Appeal in a bid to raise funds for the brave five-year-old and his family.
Money donated will go towards urgently needed equipment that the terminally-ill youngster needs, including a hood and rain cover for his wheelchair, proper flooring for his bedroom and maybe even a well-deserved holiday for his family. You can donate by . . .
Cheque: You can send a cheque to the Dorset Echo, made payable to the Dorset Echo and posted to Fleet House, Hampshire Road, Weymouth, Dorset, DT4 9XD.
CASH: You can drop cash into the Echo offices in Weymouth or Antelope Walk, Dorchester. Please make sure you include your name and contact number with the donation.