‘THANK YOU’- that’s the message from the family of five-year-old Bradley Webber to generous Echo readers who have kindly raised more than £1,700 for the youngster.

Donations poured in when the Echo launched The Bradley Appeal last month when the government cut off Bradley and his family’s £600-a-month benefits.

A total of £1,766.17 has been raised and will to be spent on equipment for the youngster in a bid to make life easier for Bradley and his family.

Following the campaign launch, the Department of Work and Pensions said it would reimburse the lost benefits and would increase Bradley’s allowance.

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.

Without the benefits 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 praised the generosity of Echo readers including Phil Way who kindly donated to the cause.

Mr Way said: “What a lovely little fellow he looks, you have my deepest sympathy. I know situations can’t change but I wish you all the best luck possible for the future.”

Louise Shall said: “I was disgusted when I read the article in the Echo about government stopping you DLA benefit. How could they be so insensitive?

“After reading the article and your appeal, I felt compelled to help in some way. I hope my donation of £100 will help Bradley.”

Other generous Dorset residents sent cash and cheques into the Echo for the appeal, including a huge £1,000 cheque from Peter Old.

Mum Ali said: “Bradley and the rest of the family thank you all from deepest depths of our hearts. And if Bradley could talk he would say the same thing.

“It’s nice to know we not alone in this world and got the support of the community.”

Prices for the new equipment for Bradley are currently being worked out and will be purchased by the Echo before being presented to the Weymouth family.