Loving friends of a Nailsea family have launched an urgent crowdfunding appeal in the hope of securing a permanent home for an autistic, blind teen to safeguard her future.
Friend Sharon Colley tells Bella’s story: “We all take it for granted to have a roof over our heads, but what if you were a 15-year-old disabled, autistic child who during a seizure a few years ago lost their sight and now faces losing her home too?”
Dad David, aged 50, mum Sam, 54, big brother Nick and Bella, who has complex needs, are in this situation and need your help.
Fifteen years ago, devoted parents David and Sam had to give up their careers to care for Bella and are now helped by their son Nick.
The struggles the family has had to face to get what was needed to support Bella’s everyday needs have been almost insurmountable.
But despite this Sam has made time to raise vital funds for a variety of charities including Springboard Opportunity Group, Great Western Air Ambulance and the Children’s Hospice South West.
She took part in the Toby Riley memorable fun day and supported an appeal to get water to a Ugandan village.
Sam has been active helping Nailsea International Bike Show charity auctions and Ravenswood School refurbishment.
Sharon said: “Now it is her turn to get some help.
“Bella and her family need a home where they can live without the fear of being moved out of the community cutting ties with a dedicated support network.
“And most importantly for a young person without sight Bella needs to stay in a familiar location.
“Bella recognises sounds from the playground at Millennium Park, the High Street shops and cafés are all safely familiar to her.
“Bella knows how many steps it takes to get to Tesco supermarket and the shouts and hubbub from the skateboards that she can no longer see but make her laugh and clap.
“Little things which mean a lot to a young person whose world is limited.~”
David and Sam don’t own their own home, they have relied on renting the same house for the past 14 years which is about to be sold.
They have an opportunity to buy the property but have a limited time to raise the £60,000 deposit.
North Somerset Council has confirmed thanks to a change in the law David and Sam would be eligible for a mortgage using government support income but first and it is a big first they would need to raise the deposit.
David who once ran a bespoke furniture business and artist Sam has exhausted all the finance they have ever had to caring for Bella and now they have nothing, said Sharon.
The only alternative is to be rehoused into another community not in Nailsea.
The move would be so traumatic for Bella that David and Sam have been warned their dearly loved daughter would need to be sedated and possibly hospitalised for weeks.
They know strange surroundings make Bella agitated and confused.
The couple settled in Nailsea, David’s home town, when Bella was a baby. Bella is non-verbal autistic, has epilepsy, sensory processing disorder, she
A home of her own
This is Bella's story...
has mineral and vitamin deficiencies, has severe developmental delays and PDA.
All these complex needs make it incredibly difficult to get respite support for Bella as her needs are so high. She needs 24/7 care.
Sharon added: “This is a family that have dedicated their lives to help raise their beautiful daughter and now need a little bit of help from us.
“Her home is her school, her holiday house, her everything.
“She feels safe here and is often seen out in their small cul-du-sac at night running up and down with her parents assisting her to help expel her energy, her neighbours have watched Bella grow and adjust to being blind and accept her noisy outbursts and clapping.
“Nailsea is her home, her house is her haven.
“To lose this would be devastating.
“Please donate what you can to help raise what we can for their deposit so Bella can finally have a home to call her own, where she will never be under threat of having to move away from all that she knows.”
To donate or start a fundraising event for Bella go to...