Sunderland girl Millie’s garden dream will come true as appeal tops target

Dionne Pickersgill garden fundriaser for daughter Millie Fountain, 5.
Dionne Pickersgill garden fundriaser for daughter Millie Fountain, 5.

A garden project to help a Sunderland schoolgirl find her feet is ready to go after a celebration topped her family’s fundraising appeal target.

Millie Fountain’s loved ones aimed to raise £4,000 to revamp the back garden of her parents’ Thorney Close home.

Carole Pickersgill has her hair shaved off in aid of the garden appeal for her grandaughter Millie Fountain.

Carole Pickersgill has her hair shaved off in aid of the garden appeal for her grandaughter Millie Fountain.

Now, after an appeal in the Echo, it is set to go ahead after more than £5,500 was collected with the help of an entertainment night.

The space is needed to help support the five-year-old Sunningdale pupil’s physio and independence.

As an infant she had surgery to repair a cleft lip and palate, but when she was nine month old, mum Dionne Pickersgill and dad Stephen Fountain realised she was not progressing as she should.

Her delayed development means she is unable to talk or walk without the help of a frame, and she also has epilepsy and hyper-mobility.

When we realised we’d hit the target, it was absolutely amazing, I was just so emotional.

Dionne Pickersgill

After funding the garden, her family are looking to buy a hot tub to ease her aches and pains and support her exercise routine.

Full-time carer Dionne, 28, and removal man Stephen, 30, are working with Brandnewwalls Drives and Patios on the plans, which will be put into action once the weather gets warmer.

The £2,000 raised by Millie’s relations was topped up thanks to an entertainment night held by Maureen Thompson at the Alexandra pub, with £1,000 alone collected through a head shave by Millie’s grandmother, Carole Pickersgill, 53.

Dionne said: “When we realised we’d hit the target, it was absolutely amazing, I was just so emotional.

Maureen Thompson pictured with her late husband Allan.

Maureen Thompson pictured with her late husband Allan.

“This will make an amazing difference to Millie because she’s going to be able to do her physio, which she can’t do in the house.”

Maureen, 61, fundraises in memory of her husband Allan, who died in 2000 aged 43, following a battle against leukaemia.

The search is also on for a skip firm to help with the garden project.

A donation page and details can be found via https://www.gofundme.com/millie-moo-garden-fund.

Millie Fountain, pictured before she underwent the procedure to repair her lip.

Millie Fountain, pictured before she underwent the procedure to repair her lip.