Kurt Jackson was diagnosed with severe autism at the age of two. He is non-verbal and has the developmental age of a 6-12 month old baby and is easily overwhelmed.
A situation that means that the family couldn’t take Kurt on vacation and even day trips are “a real challenge”.
To improve Kurt’s quality of life, the Chester-le-Street family are hoping to raise £4,500 to create a sensory garden that will not only provide Kurt with a safe place to play, but also a sandpit, paddling pool, trampoline, soft play area and musical chimes to stimulate and engage Kurt.
Mum Lousie Jackson, 37, said: “He loves soft games and enjoys playing with water and sand, but even spending a day at the beach is difficult for Kurt. I don’t want him to miss out on things that other kids enjoy, so we’d love to put everything in the garden to create a space for him to play and enjoy the things he loves.
“He deserves to enjoy life like everyone else. It would be life changing for Kurt and it would be so nice to see him enjoying himself.”
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The family has already received support from the Bradley Lowery Foundation to provide a “safe bed” for Kurt, who rarely sleeps more than three hours a night. After hearing that the family was planning a sensory garden, the foundation reached out to ask if anyone would be interested in participating in a fundraising bungee jump of the Larpool Viaduct in Whitby.
Big Brother Chase, 16, took up the challenge and set up a Justgiving page to reach a goal of £300 for the grand prize.
He said. “It’s a 160ft drop but I’m looking forward to it – it’s going to be a good experience. Of course, it means a lot more to know that I’m raising money to help my little brother. He can’t go places and we want to bring him the things he loves so he can be comfortable in his own home.
“I have set a goal of raising £300 but more would be welcome.”
The £4,500 would cover leveling the garden, laying peat and installing secure fencing.
Father, Colin Jackson, 47, said: “Ideally it would be great to hear from a construction or landscaping company who would be willing to help. We’d still have to raise the money to install all the features that Kurt likes.”
Lynn Murphy of the Bradley Lowery Foundation added: “The family continues to raise funds to make their garden safe for Kurt over the summer. With the high level of support Kurt requires, vacation time is something the family struggles to achieve. So having a safe garden area would mean the whole family could enjoy the summer weather knowing that Kurt is safe in his own area.”
The bungee jump takes place on June 5th and Chase has raised £252 so far.