255. Freddie Farmer
An inspirational 10-year-old schoolboy born with cerebral palsy who raised £400,000 to create a new specialised physiotherapy centre.
Freddie Farmer, from West Wickham, refuses to let the condition stop him achieving his dreams and was determined to open the centre which uses ground-breaking equipment known as ‘the spider’ to support children to walk again. In just over three years Freddie led a fundraising campaign which saw hundreds of people take part in activities from a Kilimanjaro climb, to a 70s discoathon. He has also attracted corporate sponsors including Lloyds Bank and Sainsbury’s.
The physiotherapy centre, which opened in April 2015, features equipment which helps to improve mobility for children with cerebral palsy. State of the art kit, including an intensive and specific exercise program using a Universal Exercise Unit (UEU), otherwise known as the Spider, allows Freddie and other children to gain a range of motion, muscle and joint flexibility, as well as functional skills.
There are currently two physiotherapists working to provide the therapy to children at the centre. There will soon be four. Each physiotherapist can treat two children a day providing an intensive four-week session.
Prime Minister David Cameron said:
“Freddie is an inspirational Point of Light. Undeterred by the enormity of the task, he has raised an incredible £400,000 to open his specialised physiotherapy centre in South East London. He should be very proud of what he has achieved and the impact it will have on so many children’s lives.”
“Really – me? That’s awesome. I’m really really happy.”
Colonel Bob Stewart DSO, MP for Beckenham said:
“Freddie is an inspiration to us all and a credit to his family and the local community. His determination to support other children with his condition to live well is amazing. At his young age, he’s raised a serious amount of money to make the Freddie Farmer Foundation Physiotherapy Centre a reality, providing invaluable support for other disabled children. I’m delighted that his fundraising work has been commended by the Prime Minister. It is richly deserved.”