Pupils use their heads to support boy’s battle to walk

A group of school children have used their heads to support a four-year-old boy’s battle to walk.

The generous youngsters, from Dame Tipping CofE Primary School at Havering-Atte-Bower in Essex, held a ‘Crazy Hair Day’ to raise money for Gabriel Kendell who has cerebral palsy.

Gabriel Kendell

The condition means Gabriel’s leg muscles are permanently contracted with the result he can only walk on the very tips of his toes. Although he can move unsteadily over very short distances, he needs to be pushed in a chair when out of the house.

Gabriel, one of triplets who was born two-months prematurely, has been selected for an operation called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) which will help relax his leg muscles. The procedure is not funded by the NHS so the family need to raise £40,000 to go ahead.

The 'Crazy Hair Day' was the brainchild of George Viney

Dame Tipping’s fundraiser was the brainchild of 7-year-old George Viney, a friend of Gabriel’s family.

The idea was to involve the whole school and make it a fun day where everyone could join in, so we asked the kids to go crazy with their hair. It went really well and everyone started blasting questions at me!

George Viney

Children paid £2 to take part and some of them handed over pocket money that they had saved. They event raised a total of £370.

I am so proud of the compassion that our children have shown and the effort they put into raising money for Gabriel. One of our children donated over £20 of the pocket money he had saved, as he was moved by Gabriel's story and wanted to do something to help.

Kathryn Waters, Dame Tipping's headteacher

We can’t thank everyone at Dame Tipping enough. It was so kind of them all to get involved and we were gobsmacked by the amount of money they managed to raise.

Drew Kendell, Ilkley, Gabriel's dad