Dads go on the run for their disabled children

TWO dads are set to take part in a tough 10k race to raise money for a Muswell Hill centre for disabled children

Charlotte Newton

TWO dads are set to take part in a tough 10k race to raise money for a Muswell Hill centre for disabled children.

Derren Hamilton's three-year-old daughter, Ruby, has quadriplegic cerebral palsy which affects her ability to communicate and move.

His close friend Max Tomlinson has a son, Jasper, aged four, who also suffers from the condition which affects a child's movement as a result of a brain injury before or during birth.

Both Ruby and Jasper attend The Hornsey Trust Conductive Education Centre for children with cerebral palsy. The centre, which takes children up to the age of 11, helps Ruby and Jasper overcome their mobility problems and gain some control through a special education programme.

Mr Hamilton and Mr Tomlinson are planning to take part in the British Military Fitness 10k, with a team of 20 family and friends, to raise money for the centre.

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Mr Hamilton, 37, of Swiss Cottage said: "Ruby has greatly enriched our lives. Life is undoubtedly easier if your children are healthy but Ruby has put our lives in perspective.

"Ruby is cognitively age appropriate, in fact she understands some concepts even beyond her age, but due to her physical limitations it can be extremely frustrating for her to articulate and communicate and participate in activities. This is the challenge for my wife and I as parents and for carers and teachers to satisfy her very capable mind. Staff at the centre are amazing. We know she enjoys going because she was under the weather the other day but still wanted to go.

"We're hoping to raise money for the Hornsey Trust so that other children can benefit from the centre in the same way that Ruby and Jasper have."

Conductive education is specially designed for children with cerebral palsy to do as much as possible without the use of aids and equipment. The children are taught to actively find ways to overcome the problems presented to them.

The Hornsey Trust is a registered charity which has been providing educational services for children since 1963.

Chief executive Jim Thompson said: "Every pound received from runners will make a real, lasting impact on our work and will be put to the best use possible, directly where our children need it the most.

"Each year we need to raise at least £200,000 just to keep going. We hope this will be the first of many events to raise funds for our charity and to celebrate our successes."

Mr Hamilton and Mr Tomlinson will take part in the race in Redhill, Surrey, on March 29. To sponsor them visit: