Firm’s mis­sion to give El­lie a voice

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - KAREN BRIT­TON

ALIT­TLE girl who is un­able to speak could fi­nally be given a voice thanks to a fundrais­ing cam­paign by a team of work col­leagues.

Six-year-old El­lie Thor­ley is bright, funny, loves princesses and is a huge fan of Mr Bean.

But as a re­sult of be­ing born three months pre­ma­ture she is pro­foundly deaf, has chronic lung dis­ease and cere­bral palsy, which means she has se­verely lim­ited move­ment and can’t speak.

Now a team from Bolling­ton based mar­ket­ing agency Stein IAS are on a mis­sion to buy a spe­cial- ised com­puter which will help her com­mu­ni­cate, draw, play games, read books and even study.

The Eyegaze Edge, which costs £7,000, is an eye-op­er­ated ma­chine which al­lows peo­ple to gen­er­ate speech ei­ther by typ­ing a mes­sage or se­lect­ing pre-pro­grammed phrases.

The team at Stein IAS came up with idea to buy an Eyegaze Edge af­ter El­lie’s mum Char­lotte Dob­son, who worked as a cleaner at the firm, told them about El­lie’s strug­gles.

Char­lotte, who lives in Bolling­ton with El­lie, El­lie’s dad Chris, sis­ter Abi­gail and brother Dex­ter, said: “It will give her the chance to make her own in­de­pen­dent choices.

“She’s got a nor­mal IQ, she’s got likes and dis­likes like any other girl her age, but she doesn’t have the abil­ity to tell us, she can’t tell us if she has tooth ache or a tummy ache.”

Char­lotte added: “This com­puter will turn her dis­abil­i­ties into an abil­ity. I am so grate­ful to ev­ery­one at Stein who is do­ing this for us.”

The Stein IAS team has so far raised £4,100 and is now ap­peal­ing to the com­mu­nity to help them meet their tar­get.

Fundrais­ing ac­tiv­i­ties have in­cluded 13 agency run­ners tack­ling the Great Manch­ester Run and rais­ing £1,760, staff across four coun­tries took part in Na­tional Run­ning Day rais­ing another £1,380, plus £60 from raf­fles.

Rob Morrice, CEO at Stein IAS, said: “It’s dif­fi­cult for most of us to com­pre­hend the daily chal­lenges that El­lie and her fam­ily face.

“So we’re do­ing what we can to help El­lie change her life for­ever.

“With more fundrais­ing events to fol­low, cou­pled with the gen­eros­ity of the lo­cal com­mu­nity, I’ve no doubt that we’ll soon raise enough money to give this fun-lov­ing, coura­geous lit­tle girl a voice.”

To find out more about El­lie and do­nate visit gofundme. com/ friend­sofel­lie.

●● The fundrais­ing team at Stein IAS are hop­ing to raise £7,000 for El­lie’s Eyegaze Edge

●● El­lie pic­tured with mum Char­lotte

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