Runners's boost for Happy Feet funds

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Authored by Sarah
Posted Friday, May 17, 2019 - 9:26am

A Devon woman running her first half marathon in aid of Just 4 Children’s Oscar’s Happy Feet has seen her fundraising effort boosted by a housebuilder’s charity fund.

Kerry Vandenbrouck, of Paignton, scooped £1,000 towards her target thanks to the Persimmon Homes Community Champions initiative. The match-funding scheme seeks to support groups and charities working to improve the quality of life or environment across the region.

Kerry explained: “Oscar is five and from Paignton, he was born 10 weeks prematurely and finally came home after eight weeks in hospital.

“At 18 months old Oscar was diagnosed with Spastic Diplegic Cerebral Palsy, which means Oscar has increased muscle tone in his legs which causes stiffness, difficulty with movements, co-ordination and balance. He uses specialised equipment and has daily physio to help him be independent.

“Oscar is a good candidate for a procedure called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR). Without this life-changing surgery Oscar will most likely need a number of invasive surgeries as he grows, and he could lose more of his independence.

“This is the first time I have run a half marathon and I am honoured to be running on Oscar’s behalf – all the money I raise will go towards Oscar’s Happy Feet fund and I am determined to raise as much money as possible.”

Stacey Harris, head of sales at Persimmon Homes South West, based in Exeter, said: “Kerry’s application for funding from Community Champions was moving and we hope that Oscar will benefit from the best treatment for his condition.”

Community Champions invites local groups and charities to bid for cash, with two donations of up to £1,000 being made locally each month. Persimmon recently launched a further funding programme – Building Futures – which focuses on support for people aged under 18 in the categories of sport, education and health. Organisations can apply for funding by completing a simple online form at

Stacey added: “As a company we have enjoyed huge success over the last few years, and it’s great to be able to give something back to the communities in which we are working.

“Our Community Champions campaign is still running and we’d welcome more applications via our website,”