A FUNDRAISING challenge to secure treatment for two young boys suffering from rare conditions has been boosted by the efforts of villagers enjoying a Scarecrow Festival.

Residents in Middleton St George took part in a Scarecrow Trail, which was the brainchild of Shirley Gray, to help build on Harrison Foers' fundraising efforts.

The youngster took part in the Mini Great Tees Run last year to support his friends Emil Mason and Joseph Teasdale as they continue to fight illness.

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Harrison Foers with his friends Emil Mason and Joseph Teasdale

With the support of local businesses, in particular the Middleton St George Community Centre where the trail maps were distributed from, Ms Gray wants to continue and has developed the trail into an annual family event.

This year’s 52 scarecrows signed up for the event and families travelled to see the trail from Consett, Bishop Auckland, Northallerton, Stockton and Middlesbrough.

Ms Gray said: “We had an amazing turn-out with 212 families taking part in the trail and 33 per cent of families completed the full wide spread trail. There were discount vouchers for each family to use the local facilities of The Oak Tree, The Devonport and Platform One.

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Second placed Harry Potter

"Harrison presented the winners with the wonderful prizes for the top three scarecrows, a lucky dip draw for one lucky family who completed voting/trail form and 17 raffle prizes from over 25 local business and residents to help raise further funds.

"In total, we raised £692.50 which is a wonderful amount to contribute to the Joseph’s Dream and EmilGo funds."

Plans are already starting to take shape for next year's event which is likely to happen in May again.

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Third placed Wallace and Gromit

She added: “It means a lot that we can spend family time together making scarecrows, walking/driving around Middleton St George to find the scarecrows around the village, meeting lovely people along the way, and appreciating where we live."

Villager Kelly Lemon said: “We had a lovely day walking – and some driving – around the village today. Well done everyone who organised and took part."

Harrison’s and Joseph’s family and friends are continuing a series of fundraising activities to help support Joseph who is part of a Conductive Education Early Intervention Program.

Through a series of fundraising activities they have raised £40,000 to cover the costs of surgery. While Emil’s is continuing an intensive programmed of physiotherapy that could allow him to walk for the first time.

For further details about the fundraising efforts visit