Devizes mum Anita Gidley, whose son Reece was more than a year old before he was allowed home from hospital, still misses the special relationship she had with staff and parents at Devizes Opportunity Centre.

Reece of Massey Road, Devizes, is now nine and goes to Larkrise School in Trowbridge, but his mum remembers the support from everyone at the nursery when he was very young.

She said: “Reece had a lot of problems with holes in his heart and underwent a lot of operations, so when he first started going to the centre I was very anxious and protective of him. But he loved going and I got a lot of support.

“It was good to see the other mums for a chat. I miss that now as Reece has transport to Larkrise so you don’t really meet the other parents very often.”

Reece was born three weeks early at Devizes Hospital after a normal labour and his mum had no reason to think there would be a problem.

But he was born with Down’s Syndrome and the heart problems that are often associated with the condition. He has also been slow to develop speech and his mobility is impaired.

Miss Gidley, 40, has had her own health problems and was diagnosed with a brain tumour three years ago. It was benign but she had to undergo major surgery to have it removed and still suffers from tiredness and sometimes forgets her words.

Now she wants to undergo a headshave to raise money for our Give Us A Chance appeal and find a sort of closure for her own illness.

She said: “The centre does a great job and I know they still need to raise a lot of money so I want to help them.

“But I also think by shaving my head and seeing my scar it will allow me to come to terms with what happened. When I had my operation they only shaved a very small section of my hair and so I have never seen the scar properly.”

She is not afraid to make a statement with her hair. At the moment it is bright red from when she went to a Dirty Dancing party.

She said: “I don’t know how I will feel about seeing myself without any hair as it will be the first time, but I am up for it.”

To sponsor her, go to