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Brewers join in to help Charlie find his voice

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: January 21, 2014

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BURTON Albion football club has dug deep to help the mother of a youngster who cannot speak kit out her home to aid his development.

Beth Fletcher was ‘overwhelmed’ after learning that Brewers’ chief Ben Robinson decided to step in and pay for autistic Charlie’s playroom to get a much-needed facelift after reading about her cause in the Mail.

Mrs Fletcher has recently returned from a trip to America as part of a bid to learn vital skills that she hopes one day will help her son to speak normally.

She told the Mail: “Burton Albion donated the funds for Charlie’s playroom floor.

“The playroom is a distraction-free room where we carry out Charlie’s training programme to help him to try to speak.

“There are no electronics in the room. We have a trampoline, a slide, a big exercise ball and shelves where toys are kept.

“This is to encourage Charlie to gesture and ask for what he wants.

“Already we have seen Charlie ask for his juice and hope now his language will begin to expand.”

The Church Gresley mum is now looking for volunteers to work with Charlie in his playroom

Mrs Fletcher added: “No experience is necessary but the kind of people we are looking for are enthusiastic and energetic and interested in helping a child with special needs.

“We are asking that anyone interested in volunteering be available to commit to four hours a week (two sessions of two hours.”

Burton Albion chairman Ben Robinson said: “I knew Beth, as her husband used to work for the club, but I didn’t know about Charlie’s situation until I read about it in the Burton Mail.

“After I did, I decided to get in touch and offer to help out via providing funding for his playroom to be spruced up to help with their bid to get him to talk.

“As a community club, we want to help out good causes and people such as Beth and Charlie as much as we can.”

The club is also hosting a fund-raising dinner and dance for the family as they bid to raise an additional £5,000 to take Charlie to America for further work to help with his speech.

The event will take place on March 1 at the Pirelli Stadium and tickets cost £25 per person.

There will be a three-course dinner, live entertainment and a raffle which will include a prize of hospitality for four people at a Burton Albion home fixture match-day including dinner that was offered up by the club.

To donate, head online to www.gofundme.com/43vvyw or for more information visit www.charliesvoice.co.uk or email info@charliesvoice.co.uk for more information.

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