Mum backs campaign to raise £1.5million for disability support - how you can help

A North East mum has taken on her biggest challenge yet to raise money in support of families across the region with disabilities.

Sunday, 11th April 2021, 2:00 pm

Tara Johnson, who has cerebral palsy, is the founder and owner of social enterprise Tailored Leisure Company (TLC).

She pledged to stand from her wheelchair for 21 hours over five days from Monday, March 8 to Friday, March 12 – a sight that neither of her children had ever seen.

The driving force behind Tara’s challenge was to raise awareness of what she believes is the lack of accessible leisure activities and short break facilities across the North East region.

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Tara Johnson pictured with her children and a dog from the Canine Partners charity.

Through various charity events and applications, TLC aims to raise £1.5million to purchase an identified property in the region that will be modified into an accessible leisure complex.

The company is also behind Sit to be Fit and recently secured funding to run a host of virtual fitness classes.

Tara said: “The second lockdown started to take its toll on me, like many, and despite things being amazing with the growth of the business and the successful transition to virtual fitness sessions for our clients, I’m only human and began to realise I was frustrated.

“My children were finding things difficult and we all needed a goal that would see me take on my biggest challenge, but also help the fundraising project.

“Earlier in the year I started a meal plan with Macro Based Diner and an intensive and tailored eight-week fitness programme with one of our trainers (Coach Becks), with the aim to stand for the first time in 20 years.

“Training has been far from easy with sore legs, only managing six minutes in my standing frame during the first week of standing training to now managing one hour.

“The 21 hours challenge represents a new year of hope and I’m asking the North East to make a pledge and stand with me to Stand for Access and help us raise the vital funds we need.”

To find out more and make a donation, go to www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/tailoredleisure

Campaign supporters can also name a butterfly that would be displayed at the new complex, if successful, as a sign of life, independence and hope.

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