A FUNDRAISING stalwart is to open up her home to the public in a bid to raise cash for a little girl.
When Julie Scarborough read about Alicia Pannell’s plight, she knew she just had to help.
The eight-year-old, from Parker Close in Gosport, suffers from cerebral palsy and desperately needs a new specialist chair as she has outgrown her old one.
Her family is trying to raise £10,000 which will also pay for an outbuilding to store her equipment.
So far Julie, from The Crest in Widley, has raised £800 for Alicia through various fundraising activities and on Saturday, July 16, she will hold another event to boost her total.
She is inviting members of the public into her house to buy clothes and toys and for tea, cakes and a raffle.
‘The only reason I knew about Alicia was when I read the newspaper article,’ she said.
‘I really was quite taken with the article. They look like such a lovely family. It just made me quite sad to think about her with no chair. That’s why I wanted to help.’
Julie’s second baby Andrew died when he was just eight hours old, and one of her twin grandaughters, Hannah, also died after she was born prematurely.
‘That sort of experience makes you appreciate what other people have to go through when their children are very ill or handicapped in any way,’ she added.
‘We take our good health for granted. It’s not until you have an experience like that, that you realise how precious life is. I’m eccentric. I am very young at heart. I get various things wrong with me but I am trying to get on with it.’
Julie invites people to leave items at her home which she then sells on to donate money to charity.
She also regularly raises money for Naomi House children’s hospice and the Rocky Appeal, which raises money for Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth.
She added: ‘I’m 76 but doing charity work keeps me going. I like to help as many people as possible especially children. I have got lots of friends who come round to help me.’
Alicia’s mum Sharon, 36, added: ‘It’s amazing really, considering her age. She’s an inspirational woman. She seems really lovely and would help anybody. We are over the moon. She has never met us, she doesn’t know us. But she says that if she can help, she will.’ Adults will be charged 50p while entry for children is free.
Julie’s event will take place at 9 The Crest, Widley, from midday until 4pm.