Stockton toddler Billy's plight inspires Middlesbrough shoppers to donate cash

The Northern Echo: Middlesbrough shoppers raise funds for sick toddler Billy Walton. From left, top, Marion Connelly, Barrie and Brenda Spooner, bottom, shopping centre manager Debbie Anderson, Billy Walton, mum Lisa Walton and sister Lilly Walton Middlesbrough shoppers raise funds for sick toddler Billy Walton. From left, top, Marion Connelly, Barrie and Brenda Spooner, bottom, shopping centre manager Debbie Anderson, Billy Walton, mum Lisa Walton and sister Lilly Walton

THE plight of a toddler who had a stroke at birth has inspired shoppers to raise £4,100 so he can have a sensory room.

Billy Walton, who is 22 months old, has brain damage, severe sight impairment as well as flat head syndrome, cerebral palsy and epilepsy.

Parents Lisa and Stuart Walton, of Stockton, told of their gratitude after shoppers in the Cleveland Centre, Middlesbrough raised the money.

They hope the sensory room will help calm Billy and to put money towards a suitable vehicle to help accommodate Billy and his wheelchair.

Billy, who has developed his own way of communicating using touch and sound to identify people, is brother to Chloe, nine, Sophie, six and Lily, three.

Cleveland Centre spokeswoman, Sally Pearson, explained centre manager, Debbie Anderson, heard about Billy’s plight on a social networking site.

She mentioned it to a dedicated team of volunteer fundraisers, Barrie and Brenda Spooner and Marion Connelly, who have raised money for good causes from a stall in the Centre for that last 30 years.

Parents Lisa and Stuart Walton said: “Everyone has been a fantastic support and we are grateful for every donation made. We are fund-raising to help with the cost of building a special sensory room in our home to help Billy develop further, as this will make such a difference to him along with a suitable vehicle that can accommodate Billy and his wheelchair comfortably.”

Centre Manager Debbie Anderson said: “There’s one thing about the people of Middlesbrough and that is that they are generous and supportive of those who need some help.”

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