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Heather Pyne

Heather Pyne is crowdfunding

134%
£6,710
raised of £5,000 target by 252 supporters

Weʼre raising £5,000 to for Pawsitive Squad by walking a marathon in 1 month

Nottinghamshire

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Story

Meet Ben & Izzy, my two beautifully different children.

At just 24 weeks gestation (16 weeks early) Izzy arrived into the world as a scrawny 1lb1 little one, literally the weight of a bag of sugar. Her skin was see through so we could partially see her bones and muscles and internal organs. Never has something so utterly weak looks so incredibly robust at the same time. From the first day something was very clear - this kid is a fighter.

Now Izzy is nearly 4 years old and her journey so far has been far from smooth sailing. She has complex disabilities and is medically fragile. So, how are we going to empower Izzy to walk a marathon distance when she cant sit or stand and certainly can't walk?

Introducing, *pause for dramatic effect!* the Upsee by firefly! This absolutely awesome piece of equipment is what enables Izzy to walk. She is strapped to me (heather, Mum) so I can help take her weight and assist with the movements. Don't be fooled into thinking this is an easy ride for Izzy, far from it! For Izzy to hold her head up like this takes real effort and energy and then to go with the movement, to keep her body upright etc that all takes even more energy. Because her legs are so small as well to travel just 1km takes Izzy 3, 460 steps and around 45minutes when an average adult would walk that in 1225-1500 steps and 9 minutes per km so we are talking serious effort here! Because of the time it takes and the mammoth effort required we are aiming to walk Izzy's marathon spread over August.

Now, let me introduce you to Izzy's brother Ben, my larger than life, autistic little 4 year old. Ben has no physical disabilities but he faces a very different kind of challenge completing this marathon. You see, the world is not designed for little lives like Ben's. It's noisy, crowded and unpredictable and dangerous and that makes going out with Ben very difficult. He easily becomes overwhelmed and lie on the floor - now he's 4 and I have physical limitations myself so if he's overloaded and on the floor there is no way i am going to be able to carry him home. His lack of danger awareness combined with unwavering obsession over vehicles also means no journey out is without drama BUT that is why this is such a great thing for him to do, this is a chance for us to work together to find ways to keep on walking, to manage his sensory needs and prove to ourselves that he can do it.

For the past 8 months we have really struggled with Ben and walking. Before lock down we were finding journeys out a real challenge as he would refuse to move and become acutely distressed when overwhelmed. Going out became horrible - if we made it home without all 3 of us crying at some point during something as simple a trip to the super market, it was a miracle. It reached the point that we only went out when we had to get somewhere such as a hospital appointment or Ben to nursery which in itself made things worse because of the time pressure. This time in lock down has been a great chance for reflection and I've realised the need to do lots of no pressure walking with Ben to build his confidence, walking where if he has a meltdown and we sit on the floor for 30 minutes then that is ok and walking in a way that we can take time for him to process his surroundings and enjoy being out. That's where his marathon really matters. Not only will it be a huge challenge for him but it will be a massively rewarding experience.

So, that is how Ben & Izzy are walking their marathon each but now I'd like to take a moment to tell you why.

I, Izzy and Ben's mum, Heather Pyne, run Pawsitive Squad CIC. It is an organisation founded off the back of seeing how hard it is to access support for young people with more complex needs combined with knowing how valuable dogs are to families as a dog trainer. At Pawsitive Squad we offer a whole host of services for under 25s with additional needs including assistance dog training, therapy dog training for dogs working with professionals, camping holidays, fun days, workshops and so much more. Part of what makes Pawsitive Squad special is our acceptance of all needs - we don't have tick boxes (bar age and not posing a risk to dogs) and that means we have a beautifully diverse range of young people who access our service - but there's a problem.

Because of the needs our families have we need very specific equipment and spaces to facilitate practical participation for everyone which is not available to us in most settings. Because we work with dogs and need significant space, our events are often in fields or campsites so we have designed a very special adaptation plan for our company caravan. we aim to put some of the funds raised from our marathon towards converting the caravan:

Without the caravan, a huge chunk of our wonderful community are unable to access our face to face services including my own children. That is why they are contributing some funds raised to the caravan fundraiser as they will see the benefit but also are incredibly lucky that they've been able to access assistance dog ownership because I am their mother. With a different parent without the dog training knowledge but with the same additional needs they have they would not have been able to access our face to face services.

The whole caravan adaptation with the basic version of equipment (i.e. with a mobile hoist not a gantry which is less preferable as a mobile hoist isn't suitable for all) will cost us at least £5,000. We have already smashed our first target of £500 (10% of the minimum caravan cost) so we've doubled the target to £1000 (20% of minimum caravan cost). If we were to raise more funds than required for the caravan we would donate the rest to the general running of Pawsitive Squad to enable them to train more therapy dogs, assistance dogs and provide more canine assisted activities & therapy.

Thank you so much to all the amazing people who have donated so far, I am so touched by the support and encouragement we've had from our community - you are all super stars and we are for ever grateful.

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Updates

23

  • Heather Pyne13 days ago
    Heather Pyne

    Heather Pyne

    13 days ago

    WOW! We've passed our £5,000 target! How amazing is that?! This will make such a huge difference to Pawsitive Squad. Thank you to every single super star who has donated. I'm so touched by everyone's support. We will never forget this.

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  • Heather Pyne1 month ago
    Heather Pyne

    Heather Pyne

    1 month ago

    I CANNOT BELIEVE I AM ABLE TO POST THIS, BUT WE DID IT!!!!! 42.2km (26.22miles) over August with Izzy who had, before August taken under 500 steps in the walking harness and Ben for whom every step outside is a challenge. I could not be more proud of these 2, this is a MASSIVE achievement for them which has pushed us all to the absolute limit physically and emotionally. Thank you again to all the absolutely amazing people who have donated, who have cheered us on, who have shared our post and helped us make this a reality!

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  • Heather Pyne1 month ago
    Heather Pyne

    Heather Pyne

    1 month ago

    Walk 1 this morning has got us down to needing a final 2.64km by the end of today to have completed our marathon walk within the month. Just getting ready to head out again! Thank you amazing donors :D

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2 months ago

Heather Pyne started crowdfunding

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Page last updated on: 9/21/2020 09.46

Supporters

252

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous

    Sep 21, 2020

    I was so moved by Izzy and Heather's marathon. Well done and God bless.

    £20.00

  • Andrew W

    Andrew W

    Sep 18, 2020

    Well done Izzy & Pepsi! (and Heather)

    £100.00

  • Paul

    Paul

    Sep 18, 2020

    Well done you are a walking star

    £20.00

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous

    Sep 17, 2020

    Well done!

  • John Cowley

    John Cowley

    Sep 17, 2020

    Very inspirational. Well done, Izzy.

    £50.00

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous

    Sep 16, 2020

    Read this story on the BBC and it's truly inspiring, what an achievement and wonderful adventure, really moved me.

    £20.00

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous

    Sep 16, 2020

    Saw Heather and Izzy's incredible story on the local BBC news online - what a fantastic achievement - well done

Heather Pyne

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Heather Pyne

Heather Pyne

Nottinghamshire

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