Building work due to begin to make a new bedroom for Benjamin

Peter Kelly and Benjamin with Paula Gascoigne of Smile for Life.
Peter Kelly and Benjamin with Paula Gascoigne of Smile for Life.

Construction work is set to begin to create a new bedroom for a severely disabled boy after his family hit their £13,000 target.

Benjamin Edmundson-Brown has an unnamed genetic condition which means he cannot walk, talk or eat, with his food given through a tube.

Peter Kelly and Victoria Edmundson-Brown speaking at the Smile for Life ball.

Peter Kelly and Victoria Edmundson-Brown speaking at the Smile for Life ball.

The 11-year-old's parents Victoria Edmundson-Brown, 46, and stepdad Peter Kelly, 50, struggle because they have to carry him up and down stairs to his room, with their Easington Colliery home not kitted out to offer him the care the growing lad needs.

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The youngster’s existing room on the upper floor has been padded out with mats on the walls and a mattress on the floor so that the s not hurt from a fall from his bed.

Now work is due to begin on extending their home with a ground floor room for the Hope Wood Academy pupil after funding was secured with the help of a campaign drive by the Smile for Life charity.

Peter Kelly and Victoria Edmundson-Brown with Benjamin in his room, which is fitted out with padding with a mattress on the floor so he doesn't get hurt if he falls out of bed.

Peter Kelly and Victoria Edmundson-Brown with Benjamin in his room, which is fitted out with padding with a mattress on the floor so he doesn't get hurt if he falls out of bed.

Smile for Life's Paula Gascoigne approached Victoria, who works as a mental health nurse, and Peter after hearing of their plight after Benjamin was born 10 weeks prematurely and weighing only 3lb.

Smile for Life organisation made a final push at its ball, where the couple were special guests and told the audience their story.

Paula has since pledged to organise a team of volunteers from Smile For Life to create a beautiful, safe and sensory bedroom for Benjamin, who also has epilepsy and is visually impaired, once the extension is built.

The appeal has also been helped thanks to the Bradley Lowery Foundation, which has pledged £5,000, with an anonymous donation of £3,000 also gifted.

The extension will also feature a wet room for Benjamin.

A host of other supporters, including Jimmy Collings and Bill Jones from Murton and the Mallard pub in Seaham, have also pitched in to help add to the appeal, with work to start in coming days.

Peter, who works as a singer, said: "It's going to be a massive help because we can't get him up and down stairs.

"It will also make a phenomenal difference and the big thing will be that Ben will be more a part of the family because he'll be on the ground floor, so we won't have to take him upstairs to put him to bed."

More about Benjamin's appeal can be found via https://bit.ly/2oG4UFb