A SEVERELY disabled boy has been given new hope after his plight appeared in The Northern Echo.

Ashley Mawson, 14, will be given £5,000 from the Variety Club to help meet the £15,000 cost of converting his home - in Stockton Road, Darlington - to accommodate his needs.

The grant is the maximum amount the Variety Club gives to a single child.

Ashley suffers from partial trisomy 13, a rare chromosome abnormality, which means he cannot walk, talk or hear properly, and is entirely dependent on his family.

The cash will be given when the remainder of the money has been raised.

It will help fund a specially-adapted bathtub and hoist.

Ashley's mum Elissa was delighted with the promised donation.

"Even though we haven't got it yet, the money will really help, we are over the moon with the amount," she said.

"People in the community have been really good since we appeared in the paper.

"We have had lots of offers for help, including a man who says he'll do our plumbing for free."

If anyone feels they can help the Mawsons, please contact (01325) 484250.