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Prison raises £1,000 for disabled toddler 17 July 2009

THE prison has raised £1,000 through their annual sponsored walk for the Aziz Sharpe Fundraising Trust.

Prison cheque presentation to Aziz SharpePrison officers Mike Pacey and Colleen Cubbon and three inmates completed the 26-mile Millennium Way from Castletown to Sky Hill in May, with prison works manager Barry Clark acting as support driver. Deputy Governor Colin Ring also completed the sponsored walk separately with his daughter Helen.

Aziz, who will be three years old next month, and his mum Madina joined Prison Governor Alison Gomme at Castletown to see the walkers off on the gruelling long distance walk.

Mike Pacey, the prison’s Senior Officer for Physical Education, co-ordinated the annual fundraiser. He said:

‘The group completed the Millennium Way in six hours and 50 minutes, which is impressive considering it was the uphill way to walk it. Participants trained hard to achieve the necessary fitness level, and it’s rewarding for them and us to have the support of the whole prison community to raise this impressive amount of money for such a worthy cause.’

Aziz was born with microcaephaly, a condition causing sufferers to have a smaller head than normal, and athetoid cerebral palsy, which affects his physical development, co-ordination and posture. The cause is not known but is thought to have been the result of a lack of oxygen during pregnancy or birth. Last June his parents Madina and Keith, of Douglas, began using a learning programme for brain-injured children run by the Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential in Philadelphia. Sponsorship raised by the prison will contribute to the family’s next trip.

Madina explained:

‘A week’s course at the Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential costs US$4,500 and this wonderful donation means we have now raised about £3,000 towards funding our next planned visit. We are supposed to return to the Institutes every six months but unfortunately, due to financial constraints, it will have been a year since our last visit. It is quite an intense training programme for us, from 8am until 8pm every day, but Aziz really benefits from the techniques we learn. When we have completed the training, Keith and I will be qualified in child brain development.’

Fund raising continues to cover the costs of travelling to America for the family, including 12 year old Amaara who will accompany her little brother while their parents attend the training course. Anyone wishing to donate in either cash or as man-power for Aziz’s physical training regime is welcome to contact Madina on 661154.

Photo caption The Isle of Man Prison presents £1,000 to Aziz Sharpe. Left to right: Prison Governor Alison Gomme, Deputy Governor Colin Ring, Senior Officer for Physical Education Mike Pacey, Helen Ring, Madina, Aziz and Keith Sharpe.

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