Day of fun for Dottie as soft play friends put on fundraising celebration

Dottie O'Keefe smiles as he he hooked a duck during the  "Go Spotty For Dottie" event held at Mr.Twisters. Picture by FRANK REID
Dottie O'Keefe smiles as he he hooked a duck during the "Go Spotty For Dottie" event held at Mr.Twisters. Picture by FRANK REID

A festival of fun was hosted by a team who do their bit to give a girl the best of times at the soft play.

Mister Twister, on Park View Industrial Estate off Brenda Road, hosted a day of celebrations in support of Dottie O’Keefe.

Dottie O'Keefe (front centre) with family and friends during the fundraiser.

Dottie O'Keefe (front centre) with family and friends during the fundraiser.

The three-year-old from Rossmere in Hartlepool has cerebral palsy, with her family aiming to raise £35,000 for an operation on her spine which should help her walk independently.

She can take steps with the assistance of a walker, but the procedure, which is not covered by the NHS, would give her the freedom she needs to move.

The soft play centre welcomes Dottie to its Monday night sessions which are run for children with special needs.

It has previously held a fundraising day for Alfie Smith, 10, who has the same condition and has undergone selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) to help him walk.

It’s been brilliant to see everyone and good to see everyone pull together, because we really want to help one of our own.

Kirsty Whincup

Mister Twister ran a raffle thanks to support from businesses from the town, alongside face painting and festival make up sessions and games including hook-a-duck and a challenge to guess how many sweets were in a jar.

Stall holders also donated £10 to set up a sale for the day, which saw more than 150 people pass through the doors, with £168 raised.

Kirsty Whincup, a team member at the business, said: “Our manager Nicola Brian came up with the idea.
“We’d held a fundraiser for Alfie cause he used the soft play and we were talking about what we could do for Dottie.

“It’s been really good and lots of people have been asked about what it’s for and taking part in the raffle.

Dottie O'Keefe takes time out for a rest during the  "Go Spotty For Dottie" event held at Mr.Twisters. Picture by FRANK REID

Dottie O'Keefe takes time out for a rest during the "Go Spotty For Dottie" event held at Mr.Twisters. Picture by FRANK REID

“We’ve had a really nice response to it.

“It’s been brilliant to see everyone and good to see everyone pull together, because we really want to help one of our own.”

Miles for Men is among those who have also offered their support to the campaign, which is headed up by Dottie’s mum Helen Noon, 24.

Dottie was born 15 weeks prematurely and weighed just 1lb 9oz.

Harley Tiplady (left) with friend Charlie Fowler with their spotty faces at the "Go Spotty For Dottie" event held at Mr.Twisters. Picture by FRANK REID

Harley Tiplady (left) with friend Charlie Fowler with their spotty faces at the "Go Spotty For Dottie" event held at Mr.Twisters. Picture by FRANK REID

At just a few weeks old she suffered a severe bleed to her brain which caused her to have cerebral palsy and she has also overcome meningitis.

Anyone who would like to donate can visit https://www.gofundme.com/lets-change-dotties-life.

Dottie O'Keefe manages to walk with hep, but needs a �35,000 op to help her walk unaided.

Dottie O'Keefe manages to walk with hep, but needs a �35,000 op to help her walk unaided.

Dottie O'Keefe in hospital as a baby

Dottie O'Keefe in hospital as a baby