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Tuesday, 07 July 2015

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Let Laura Speak campaign nears target to give Aspatria woman a voice

A campaign to help a 24-year-old Aspatria woman speak for the first time is close to reaching its £12,000 target.

Allerdale mayor Len Davies announced in May that he would use his year in office to help Laura, who has cerebral palsy and has been unable to speak since birth.

He launched the Let Laura Speak campaign to raise £12,000 to buy a computer device, similar to that used by Professor Stephen Hawking, to enable her to communicate.

Laura’s mum Berni Oglanby revealed this week that the campaign had already received at least £8,000.

She said: “Considering Len has got a year in office, it is going well. We are just entering August and the campaign was launched in May, so it has been really good.

“It’s really nice that it’s touching people we don’t really know. It’s exciting stuff.”

Volunteers have signed up for cycle rides, mountain challenges and other charity events.

Workington Town Rugby League Club is also backing the campaign.

Among those raising money is Marjorie Rae, 73, of Springfield Avenue, High Harrington, who was so touched when she heard about Laura that she immediately pledged to raise £1,000.

Councillor Rae, who represents Harrington for Allerdale council and the county council, told Coun Davies at his mayor-making ceremony that she would raise £1,000 for the campaign.

But she has already received £1,300 in donations and is now setting her sights on reaching the £2,000 milestone.

She hopes that a charity night on Friday, August 22, at the High Harrington Community Centre will help her reach the new target.

There will be live music from Steve Viney, a raffle, and pie and pea supper.

Coun Rae said: “I believe in helping others – that’s just me.”

The event will start at 7pm and tickets cost £7, available from Mrs Rae on 01946 831004.

Cockermouth’s Kings Church has donated £1,762 to the campaign at the mayor of Cockermouth Andy Graham’s civic service.

The congregation of around 150 meet at Cockermouth School.

Andrew Lawson, Workington town and Allerdale councillor, meanwhile had to cancel a sponsored sky dive for the campaign last Saturday because of bad weather. He plans to rearrange it for later in the year.

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