WHEN Debbie Stroud first started seeing partner Pete she promised him two things – that they would never marry or have children.
Fast forward 12 years and the couple are married and have an impressive eight children.
While day-to-day life can be hectic, the couple of Manners Road, Southsea, manage well.
However their son Connor Stroud, eight, suffers from cerebral palsy – a condition that makes it difficult for him to walk and therefore get out and about without special equipment.
Adding to the mix, Connor, who goes to Fernhurst Junior School, in Francis Avenue, Southsea, has seven siblings.
So the family have come up with the solution of fundraising for a minibus so the family can enjoy going away on holiday, and it’s big enough for Connor’s equipment.
Debbie, 40, a full time mum, said: ‘When I first met Pete I said to him I didn’t want to get married, and I didn’t want to have children.
‘But that all changed very quickly, we got married, and now we have eight children together.
‘With Connor he stopped growing when he was 28 weeks old and he was born with cerebral palsy.
‘We are a large family, and when we take him on long holidays he needs to have a walker and a standing frame.
‘At the moment we have a five-seater car, so we tend to walk to places or use public transport.
‘But we would like to go on holiday with Connor, and in order to carry his equipment a minibus would be good.’
The Strouds said that trying to get a minibus on a mobility scheme would mean they would have to give a down-payment of £10,000, which would give them a minibus for three years.
So the family is raising up to £10,000 so they can buy a minibus.
Pete, 53, who works with adults with learning disabilities, said: ‘We struggle with the one car, so it would be good to get this minibus.
‘Any money that is left over, we will split between a meningitis charity, Cancer Research UK and Aids Awareness.
‘We want to say thank you to everyone who has been supporting us and for organising the fundraising events.
‘We hope to take Connor away on holiday.’
Friends and family back Connor’s minibus campaign
A SERIES of fundraisers will be taking place to help a family buy a minibus.
Family friend Darren Peat has been organising events for Connor Stroud’s minibus campaign.
The following events are free to attend:
- November 22, Old Vic, St Paul’s Road, cabaret night, raffle, and auction, from 7pm.
- November 29, Rutland Arms, Francis Avenue, Southsea, quiz night.
- December 21, charity pool and snooker game at the George and Dragon pub, in South Street, Gosport.
To find out more call Mr Peat on 07508 903884.