Festive train a treat for sight-impaired kids

Fundraisers James and Sally Watts (right) and their three year-old daughter Jenelle,

Fundraisers James and Sally Watts (right) and their three year-old daughter Jenelle, pictured with Sally’s dad Graham Colman and Barbara Dunn, children, young people and families co-ordinator at Vision Norfolk. - Credit: Newman Associates PR

Twenty-four visually-impaired children and their families enjoyed a special ‘Festive Express’ on the Bure Valley Railway thanks to the generosity of a Cromer plumbing business and some of its suppliers.

James and Sally Watts, who run Ignite It Right Plumbing and Heating in the town, raised £1,185 which paid for the event organised by sight loss charity Vision Norfolk.

Father Christmas greeted and gave out presents to the 45 children and 49 adults who went on the journey, which left from Aylsham station. 

Mr and Mrs Watts wanted to do something to help the charity's work after receiving support from it for their daughter Jenelle, three, who has a  condition which causes problems with depth perception and focussing called nystagmus.

The Bure valley Railway in Norfolk can be enjoyed as part of a tour organised by Grand UK Holidays(f

A steam engine on the Bure Valley Railway.  - Credit: Archant

Mrs Watts said: "When we were put on the list for the festive train, we were so shocked that the event wasn’t going to cost us anything that we felt we wanted to do something to show our thanks.

“We decided that the business would donate a £100 Amazon voucher to be raffled.  

"Then some of our suppliers heard what we were doing and the response was incredible.  

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"City Plumbing Supplies in Cromer donated a £1,500 bathroom suite as a prize, Easy Bathrooms in Norwich donated a £500 voucher, and Screwfix in Aylsham donated some top-of-the-range drill bits.

“Thanks to their generosity, we sold many more raffle tickets than we thought we would be able to."

Barbara Dunn, children, young people and families co-ordinator at Vision Norfolk, said: “The support which we offer to visually-impaired children and young people and their families is vital.  

“Our ambition is to be able to provide support for the children and young people right through to adulthood, and for their families as well – not just providing activities and events, but supporting them emotionally and practically.

“But doing this of course costs money, so when people like Sally and James step up to raise money to pay for a big event like our Festive Express, it makes such a difference.”

To contribute to Vision Norfolk's Christmas appeal, visit www.justgiving.com/campaign/visionnorfolkCYPFappeal

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