CALLUM’S DREAM: Money is rolling in for appeal

Jacqui Gettings
Jacqui Gettings
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BIG-HEARTED Hartlepool Mail readers have come forward in their droves to help a little boy get his sensory room.

We are off to a dream start in the campaign to raise £5,000 for little Callum Smith.

A hugely impressive £175 has already been banked in the official account - and that’s just from people who have gone straight to the Hartlepool branch of Lloyds TSB with donations.

On top of that, officials at the charity Epilepsy Outlook, which is the Hartlepool Mail’s campaign partner, say they have had a “steady stream” of people coming in with money for the appeal.

Operations manager Jacqui Gettings said: “It has not just been small amounts either. People have been coming in with paper money such as ten and twenty pound notes.”

Callum has epilepsy and numerous other conditions, and we want to pay for the sensory room which will help him to develop.

Callum is just 21 months old but in his short life, he has been in hospital almost as often as at home.

He’s only just returned to the family residence in Laird Road, Hartlepool, after 12 weeks of intensive care when his lung collapsed. At one point, say his family, doctors advised them to have him Christened in case his days were numbered.

He now needs round-the-clock care from his parents - Hartlepool couple Zoe Neesam, 21, and Luke Smith, 23 who are registered as his carers.

They have one wish for their son. They would love a sensory room filled with the light displays, sounds, projectors and fibre optics to help him smile.

Our appeal called Callum’s Dream aims to make that wish come true by raising the £5,000 needed for the sensory room.

Jacqui said: “The response has been brilliant so far but these are early days and we still need more people to come forward with donations.”

Callum is one of hundreds of people in Hartlepool living with epilepsy.

But for many, help is at hand thanks to the excellent town-based charity Epilepsy Outlook.

It is based in York Road where it has offices and a charity shop. A second charity shop operates out of Oxford Road.

Each week, it helps dozens of people with epilepsy in ways you might not expect.

For more information on Epilepsy Outlook and all its services, contact (01429) 297007.

And watch out for more features on Epilepsy Outlook, its work and the condition in the coming days.

• The campaign is in its early days and we want to hear from hundreds of people willing to support the cause. You could either just take donations to Epilepsy Outlook or to the Lloyds TSB branch in York Road.

Or you could get in touch with the Hartlepool Mail as well and we will publicise your fundraising event.

Together, we want to make sure Callum gets this special gift from the people of Hartlepool.

Let’s make his dream come true.

Get in touch with Mail head of features Chris Cordner on (01429) 239377, or send him an email to

• TO SUPPORT Callum’s Dream you can;

* Give donations to the Epilepsy Outlook charity shops at 199 York Road, and 104 Oxford Road, both in Hartlepool.

* Pay straight into the account at Lloyds TSB branch in York Road.

The account details are:

Account Name – Epilepsy Outlook Project.

Sort Code – 30-99-47.

Account number – 24594260.