The Hereford Times is asking its caring and generous readers to help raise £35,000 to transform the lives of 10 youngsters with motor difficulties

A SIGNIFICANT ‘pathway to independence’, the aims of Megan Baker House in Herefordshire, have come a long way since 2002.

Along that route, hundreds of children have received essential conductive education, and still the MBH road gets wider and wider.

Based in a converted barn at Moreton Eye, near Leominster, the charity helps disabled children from all over the country, and now there is also support for adults with Parkinson’s Disease, or those who have had a stroke.

Fundraising is all-important to Megan Baker House, and currently the Hereford Times is appealing for support towards a project hoping to bring in £35,000.

Launched in 2017, the total has topped £30,000 and we are pulling out all the stops to hit the target by June of this year.

From skydives to organised mud play, supporters and well-wishers go to great lengths to help MBH which was started 16 years ago by Jo and Dave Baker.

Their daughter was the inspiration for the centre bearing her name, and they found that conductive education was the most effective method for Megan, who had the condition, cerebral palsy.

Only available in Hungary where it was developed, the necessary visits proved costly. So Jo and Dave Baker decided that a local centre offering free services to all children was needed here in the county.

Funding was duly granted and a small conductive education centre opened with two disabled children in attendance. Sadly, within a few weeks, Megan died.

After much soul-searching, Jo and Dave took a brave decision to continue with the work they had begun, in memory of their beautiful daughter, who remains the face of Megan Baker House.

Such was the call for help from families all over the UK, and even from abroad, the centre relocated to its present converted barn in order to accommodate a waiting list of disabled children.

That provision has since widened to include not only children, but teenagers and adults with special educational needs and physical disabilities such as cerebral palsy, head injury, stroke, dyspraxia and early on-set Parkinson’s Disease.

Two parents, Lisa Fairbrass and Gig Jones each have their sights set on raising money for MBH as a way of saying thank you for helping their children learn to walk.

Lisa and Gig have asked for sponsorship to raise money for the Project Chrysalis Appeal run by the Hereford Times.

Lisa, whose son, Ryan, attends the centre once a week, is gamely undertaking a skydive on May 26 to help raise money for the appeal.

She told the Hereford Times that Ryan was first diagnosed with spastic diplegia cerebral palsy at 15 months, and within two months he was making regular visits to MBH.

“After eight months, he took his first ever independent steps – four of them – you can’t imagine what an amazing day that was,” said Lisa.

A few months later, Ryan took 40 independent steps. Now, though still a little wobbly, he is walking independently.

Meanwhile, Gig Jones has undertaken a sponsored bike ride as his way of saying thank you to MBH. His son, Jack, who attends the centre on a weekly basis, has managed to take his first ever independent step.

Jack’s sessions are continuing to help him with his walking.

Gig’s ride started in Bewdley, following the Severn Walkway to Stourport and along the canal tow path to Kidderminster where Jack and his brother Daniel joined the ride to Wolverley and back to Bewdley.

On October 7, a spirited invite goes out to help provide MBH with the largest team the annual Eastnor Castle Mud Bath.