Seven men dressed as grannies will be travelling from Preston FC to Blackpool Town Centre on June 25th dressed as grannies to raise funds for specialised physiotherapy for eleven-year-old Freya Bailey from Irlam, Manchester.
Freya was born with two holes in her heart and has cerebral palsy and epilepsy. Her physiotherapy, which is not available on the NHS, costs around £1,000 per month.
Dad Darren Bailey, 50, a water engineer, came up with the Scooter Grannies idea in 2016 to help raise funds for an operation which helped ease Freya’s pain. He now has to continue to raise money for ongoing physio which helps to keep her mobile and means she can continue to ride her adapted bike and go swimming.
Darren said: “Originally I was thinking of some kind of event with us dressed as superheroes but my friend Olive, who is 80, said: ‘Everyone does that, why not dress as grannies? So I took myself to the charity shop, bought some outfits and Scooter Grannies was born.”
This will be the Scooter Grannies fifth event. In previous years, Darren and his colleagues have scooted from Irlam to Blackpool, Irlam to Chester, Huddersfield to Irlam and Anfield to Old Trafford.
They are sponsored by 20 local businesses who sponsor the race to continue to pay for Freya’s physiotherapy – the money raised by this event will cover physio for around the next five to six months.
Darren said: “As ever I’m grateful to all my loyal mates who take part in Scooter Grannies every year, as well as the local businesses and individuals who donate money to help Freya. The funds raised continue to provide physiotherapy and essential equipment for Freya to make life as comfortable and pain free as possible.
“As well as her ongoing physiotherapy, which costs £240 each week, I am constantly having to buy or upgrade equipment as she grows and her needs change – recently I’ve spent £3,000 on a off-road buggy so we can do things like go for walks in the woods. She’s nearly 12 now and will be wanting more independence, so I’m keen to get her an electric wheelchair but that can be anything from £12,000 to £20,000.
“Thank you to everyone involved, family, friends, Scootergrannies, support team, local business sponsors and the local community for still keeping Freya in your thoughts. ‘ ‘There is no cure for cerebral palsy, no magic wand just a family’s resilience against the odds to raise the funds trying to give Freya the best they can. This has been made easier and more pleasurable with the friends and family I have around me.”
Gill Gibb, CEO of Tree of Hope said: “We’re delighted to be helping with Freya’s fundraising and Scooter Grannies is certainly an innovative event! We wish Darren all the best with it.”
To donate to Freya’s fund, visit https://www.treeofhope.org.uk/freyaslittlelegs/