A TEAM of nurses are swapping the Great Western Hospital for the dizzy heights of Snowdon at the weekend to raise funds for Lottie Palfree-man.
Thirteen-year-old Lottie, who is a pupil at Uplands School, was born with calcifications in her brain and also has cerebral palsy, delays in her development and learning difficulties.
Her mother, Rachel, and eight colleagues from Aldbourne Ward will be climbing 1,085 metres tomorrow to raise funds to pay for intensive physiotherapy for her.
Rachel, 41, of Abbey Meads, who is ward manager, said: “It was the girls’ idea. It was on their bucket lists and they decided to do it to raise money for Lottie.
“The physio makes her a little bit more independent.
“Her legs are stonger, she is able to use her left arm a bit more and she is more upright. She is just able to do more.”
Each three-week course of physiotherapy at the Footsteps Centre in Oxfordshire, which she needs several times a year, costs £1,500.
In January 2010, Lottie started her first three-week intensive programme at Footsteps and two years on, she is getting closer to the real possibility of independent walking.
The Snowdon challenge has taken a year to organise and Rachel, who also has two sons, said she is looking forward to taking part.
Training sessions have included wallks up the Malvern hills and Cotswolds, and some of the nurses got lost in Savernake Forest for two hours.
They are expecting to take about four hours to reach the top of Snowdon.
Jackie Marshall, a sister at Aldbourne Ward, said: “It’s something we felt we could do as a team just to support Rachel with her fundraising for Lottie.
“It is something we have been thinking about for a while because it is a lot of money through the year to pay for the physio that she needs. Lottie has made a lot of progress since she has been going to the centre.”
Staff nurse, Ali Tighe, said: “We’re all here to support Rachel. We have seen an improvement in Lottie.
“They can’t get NHS funding for it so it has to be supported through other means. This was on our bucket lists so we’ve seen this as our chance to do it.”
To sponsor the team visit www.justgiving.com/Rachel-Palfreeman.