A safer home for the boy who hardly sleeps

Family affair...back, Rob Bellamy, Lucy Bellamy 13 and Val Bellamy. Front, Katie, George 3 and Phil Bellamy during the fundraiser at Wilfrid's church in Kibworth on saturday.'PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER
Family affair...back, Rob Bellamy, Lucy Bellamy 13 and Val Bellamy. Front, Katie, George 3 and Phil Bellamy during the fundraiser at Wilfrid's church in Kibworth on saturday.'PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

A little boy who hardly sleeps will benefit from a successful fundraising event in Kibworth Beachamp at the weekend.

More than £4,000 was raised by the event, which will go towards a purpose-built padded “safe space” and sensory equipment for three-year-old George Bellamy.

The cafe-and-stalls event at St Wilfrid’s Church Hall, Kibworth Beauchamp was organised by George’s grandparents Val and Rob Bellamy, who live in Kibworth.

“It was an absolutely fantastic response from the local community, businesses, family and friends” said Rob Bellamy.

“We reckon well over 300 people attended throughout the event, so we’re on a high really.”

Young George was born with a rare chromosome disorder, which means he has severe speech and learning delay, as well as autistic and sensory issues.

One of the side-effects of his condition is he only sleeps for a maximum of four hours a night, and when he wakes up he can throw himself about and hurt himself.

“A purpose-built safe space would keep George contained and safe, and help his parents Phil and Katie, and his sister Lucy achieve some much-needed rest” explained Val Bellamy.

“George wakes up in the night and head bangs - his sleep pattern is so poor.”

George’s mum Katie Bellamy (32), a former midwife, said: “George sleeps three to four hours a night, and when he does wake up he gets frustrated and can hurt himself.”

She said she was amazed by the number of people who attended the fundraising event at Kibworth on Saturday

“We’re very overwhelmed by everyone’s support” she said.

“When we arrived, the cars of visitors were already stretching right down the street.”

George’s dad Phil (40), an applications engineer, explained: “The problem is that at the moment we can’t leave George alone in his own room.

“When my dad said he was going to do some fundraising in Kibworth to help us, we didn’t expect anything on this scale.

“It’s amazing how generous people are.”

The family hope to eventually raise around £10,000 to buy a safe space and sensory equipment to keep George safe and happy at night, when he wakes up.

Safespaces are safe, padded living and sleeping spaces for people with a range of special needs.

The custom-made safe rooms and sleep areas are used at homes, schools and for respite care.

Typically safe rooms are used for people with special needs including autism, epilepsy and various types of challenging behaviour.

But the specialist equipment is very expensive.

Rob Bellamy said his son’s family now need about another £1,500 for the safe space and sensory equipment at their home in Enderby.

If you missed Saturday’s event but would like to help, can help, contact Rob Bellamy at robbellamy@hotmail or ring 07929 068610.