Brighton & Hove Albion are very proud to be supporting the club’s charity partner Chailey Heritage Foundation for the Premier League home match against Chelsea on Saturday.
Chailey Heritage Foundation is a Sussex-based charity for children and young people with complex disabilities. It has been educating young people with disabilities for over 100 years. Every year it works with young people and their families, to give them the best that life can give, no matter what challenges they face.
Lennon is an example of a young boy whose life has been transformed by the charity. His life has its complications. He was born with two forms of dwarfism so as well as having restricted growth, his legs and arms are also short. He is unable to walk and, because of his complex condition, he relies upon a ventilator to breath and needs constant supervision - 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Lennon’s mum Laura desperately wanted him to go to school but as he approached school age, he was still spending the majority of time in hospital, so finding a school capable of meeting his complex health needs proved difficult.
She said, “We wanted everything to be as normal as possible for Lennon, which meant going to school. I found out quite fast that no school could deal with Lennon’s medical complications and then we found Chailey.
“I knew in my heart of hearts when we first came to Chailey that Lennon had to come here to unlock himself and fulfil his potential. It’s just been amazing.”
Lennon has really taken off since starting at Chailey Heritage School and, with all his medical needs being met, he is getting stronger and more resilient. Communication is key and he is now able to express his likes and dislikes clearly. He joins in with group activities with his peers and his power-driving skills have excelled. Often Lennon can be found exploring the school, either driving his powered wheelchair or, most recently, riding his hand-powered tricycle.
Volunteers from Chailey will be around the stadium pre-match with collection buckets. You can also donate by texting GOAL18 £3 to 70070 and there is a signed Seagulls shirt and football being auctioned via www.chf.org.uk/seagulls. If you would like to know more about the work of the charity you can visit www.chf.org.uk.