Photo of Dr Sarah Craven

Dr Sarah Craven

Dr Sarah Craven has been nominated by her neighbour, Kirsty Leedham. Sarah is a Harrogate-based GP, who, during the weekend 14/15 October 2017 danced non-stop for 24 hours with the aim of raising £10,000 for her friend’s son, Felix Williams, through Felix’s Future.

Felix was born at home in water, ten days past his due date. As time progressed, his mum, Sarah Williams, noticed Felix was developing at a slower rate than her other children had. There has been no diagnosis for Felix because no one knows what is causing his developmental delay. MRI scans show that he has an undiagnosed progressive neurological disorder.

Who will the initiative help/who has it helped already?

Felix is six and is unable to sit independently and is non-mobile.  He has cerebral visual impairment and damage within his brain, not caused by any problems at birth. Nobody knows what is wrong with Felix and what causes his problems and all genetics have come back clear.

His mum says “Although Felix is undiagnosed we do know that he has dystonia, hyper mobility, hypertonia, seizures, delayed swallow, slow growth and a beautiful smile.”

During 2016/17 Felix’s family, supported by friends and family managed to raise enough money to take Felix to Canada to a pioneering rehabilitation centre to help get Felix moving. The family need to take Felix two or three times a year and follow the LIFE programme at home in between visits.

Each trip / treatment costs £10,000. The clinic is an incredible place with proven success stories.  After his first visit to Canada earlier this year, where Felix made such an effort and the family have seen massive changes. For more information about the treatment, visit the Health in Motion Rehab website.

What’s worked?

Dr Sarah set out to do the ultimate and raise the full amount in one giant fundraising effort. Starting at 10am on Saturday 14th October, she danced until the following morning at 10am. Taking place at Performax Gym, Harrogate, she was supported by dance instructors from local dance centres who ran street dance, HiT, tap, lindy hop and ballroom classes.

A friend DJ’d and there was a children’s and an all-night adult disco. Friends and family made and bought cakes and bacon butties. Generous people and local businesses donated raffle prizes and hundreds of people came and danced with Sarah, motivating her to keep going.

What worked was Dr Sarah’s enthusiasm and her bonkers idea, her contacts and the local community who rallied behind her. A big social media campaign helped spread the news, supported by local press and Stray FM.

Sarah had a few key people who took on specific aspects of the campaign and friends made the commitment to make it a success. She did it! She raised just over £10,000!”

What have you learnt? Any challenges?

Kirsty says “The best things have been community engagement and joint effort. The challenge is to be able to continue the fundraising effort for Felix, with the same success.”

What’s next?

Kirsty says “For Dr Sarah – a well-earned rest.  For Felix’s family, the effort continues and they have a continuing programme of fundraising activities. When you hear about Felix and meet this delightful smiley, cuddly boy you cannot help be moved to do something for him and his amazing family. And when you hear and see the difference this first visit to Canada has made it’s a no brainer – he needs to keep going!”

What advice, contacts or resources would help you?

Support with future fundraising activities.

Why we’re sharing these stories

An individual or organisation from each of our five categories will be recognised at our Igniting Inspiration recognition event in November, but we want to publish all relevant stories to spread awareness of all the positive work that goes on in our region!

Stories powered by our Inspired Sponsor, CNG Ltd

CNG logo