WORK has started to improve facilities for disabled children after an appeal in memory of ex- Sunderland star Tim Carter.
The family of the former goalkeeper cut the first sod to mark the start of construction of new residential accommodation and a hydrotherapy pool at the Percy Hedley School in Killingworth.
Gina Carter, with daughter Sasha and son Jensen, a pupil at the school, cut the sod at a special ceremony.
The new development will provide additional accommodation integrated on one site, including a 24-bedroom home and state-of-the-art pool.
After playing 50 times for the club, Tim returned as a goalkeeping coach with Sunderland AFC Academy.
He was found dead in a Manchester street in 2008 after being reported missing from his Durham City home.
Gina said: “My husband was overwhelmed and humbled by the determination and achievements of the children at Percy Hedley School. It was close to his heart as Jensen has cerebral palsy.”
Percy Hedley Foundation is now looking to raise £4m to ensure it will be completed by September 2015.
Carole Harder, foundation chief executive, said “I am delighted that Gina and Jensen have officially cut the first turf to start work on our new children’s residential and therapy facilities as part of our Centre of Excellence plans, with the Tim Carter Hydrotherapy Pool at its heart.
“The challenge now is to build upon the early fundraising success and create the Tim Carter Hydrotherapy Pool.
“The goal of the recently-launched Splash Appeal is to raise the balance necessary to fully equip the pool with all the specialist equipment the children need and make the new Centre of Excellence a reality.”
For more details, e-mail email@example.com or to donate £5 text SPLASH to 70500 or visit justgiving.com/splashappeal/