Raising cash for health camp dream

Holly-Ann Graham, 10, with mum Liz Thomson.
Holly-Ann Graham, 10, with mum Liz Thomson.

A mum’s desperate plea for funding to send her daughter to a specialist weight-loss camp has been answered.

In June, Liz Thomson, 34, told the Courier the Leeds-based MoreLife camp would be life changing for her daughter, Holly-Ann, 10, who she says has an over-eating disorder.

But at a cost of £4,250, she could not meet the cost and called on the NHS and the government to provide more support to tackle childhood obesity.

Now Miss Thomson and her daughter are celebrating after receiving the news that obesity charity HOOP has raised enough money for Holly-Ann to attend the five-week residential camp.

The move came after Lynne Potter, head of support at the charity, was diagnosed with terminal cancer. The dream on her “bucket list” was to send a child to the camp, which aims to empower young people to make steps towards a healthier future, in her name.

Miss Thomson said: “When I first found out she had got a place, I didn’t believe it at first. I had to be told twice. When I put the phone down I was really tearful because I was so happy. but for a year-and-a-half I’ve been trying to get help for my daughter.

“It’s nice to know somebody believes in you and they don’t think you are this lazy, overweight parent, but they have faith in you and your child. It’s going to give her the toolkit and it’s going to help her learn without me there, nagging her.

“It’s going to show her portion control, it’s going to show her how to enjoy food, eat for the right reasons, it’s going to give her self esteem, help with friendships and give her the choice to make right choices, to learn when she is hungry and when she is not hungry.

“All I can go by is what I’ve read, statistics and reports, I’ve done lots of research and I know that this is going to be the best for her. I know I will see a different Holly-Ann at the end of it.”

But Miss Thomson says the battle is not won and she has vowed to push the government to do more.

“The government is still not listening. There are people out there who want to deal with this and the services are just not there,” she added.

“I’m not saying, because I’m fat, my daughter should get funding, what I’m saying is that it is a proper health condition and it needs to be addressed.”

And she hopes that enough money can be raised to send another child to the camp. See more at www.justgiving.com/Gemma-Corston-Love4