A BIG-HEARTED workman has made little Jasmin’s dream come true after single-handedly starting a fund to buy her a ‘working dog’.
Alan Smith, 28, works for Balfour Beatty at the Heerema yard, in Hartlepool, and one of his workmates, Ian Peel, 38, was telling him about his step-daughter Jasmin Ather, who was born with cerebral palsy.
The wheelchairbound nine-year-old is completely dependent on the adults in her family and would benefit hugely from a working dog to give her a degree of independence as she gets older.
Jasmin’s family set up a Go Fund Me page to try and purchase one of the dogs, which cost £7,000 fully trained.
Alan was so touched by Jasmin’s story that he took it upon himself to start a collection with the lads at work.
And after initially getting all of the other workmen in his team to dig deep, he moved onto other areas of the site, and even Heerema’s sister sites at Seal Sands and Victoria Dock. Altogether determined Alan raised a massive £5,500 from the pockets of his pals - and that was topped up to £6,500 after a £1,000 donation from Heerema bosses and its clients.
It’s a really good feeling to have been able to do this. I didn’t do it for any other reason than to help a friend and his family, and most importantly Jasmin
Alan, from Seaton Carew, in Hartlepool, said: “It’s a really good feeling to have been able to do this. I didn’t do it for any other reason than to help a friend and his family, and most importantly Jasmin.
“She’s a lovely little girl and she deserves this dog so much.”
The dog, a golden Labrador called Lola, is hopefully going to come to the family from Ireland where it is being trained - depending on whether it makes the grade.
Cheerful and confident Jasmin, who lives with her grandparents Ron Taylor, 61, and Linda Ather, 62, in East Rainton, said: “I want to say a massive thank you to all the people that have donated.
“The dog is going to eat my homework hopefully! I’m just joking.
“I’ve always wanted a dog but it’s been the same answer again and again that it’d be to much work.
“I’m really happy that I’m finally getting one.”
Jasmin’s mum Lynsey Ather, 32, of Grant’s Houses, who is a mother-of-three with another baby on the way, said: “She’s over the moon and this will make such a difference to her life.”
Ron added: “we’re hoping the dog will give her independence and companionship.”