Support floods in for England family’s fight to keep dad at home

The England family at a mass ice bucket challenge at the Queen and Castle pub
The England family at a mass ice bucket challenge at the Queen and Castle pub

Overwhelming support has flooded in to keep a family together after an appeal to renovate their home raised thousands of pounds in days.

The England family were the subject of an online appeal after their life savings fell £7,000 short of work to redesign their home for allow for wheelchair access.

Husband and father. Duane England was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease two years ago, leaving him faced with a heartbreaking future away from his family as his condition worsened.

His wife, Tracy and children Sophie, aged 9 and Josh, 13, set about fundraising to modify their Kenilworth home to accommodate the 41-year-old’s increasingly reduced mobility.

Despite fundraisers, sponsorship and pouring their life savings into work -which started in February- the kitty fell £7,000 short to complete the build leading to fears the project may crumble.

But thanks to an appeal on Facebook by The England Family Support Group, they are back on track with an overwhelming community response to their plight.

The England Family

The England Family

Within hours of the appeal launching, the family was inundated with offers of help from businesses and tradesmen keen to do their bit - as well as an incredible £4,600 so far to make sure the project is completed as planned.

Family friend, Katie Simpson who helped launch the appeal, said after ploughing everything they have into making the living space suitable for wheelchair access, the family is almost at the end.

“With funds so limited we are looking to call in as many favours as we can,” she said. “As Duane’s condition progresses, we want their house to feel like a home.”

Tracy England, a nurse at Warwick Hospital, said they were simply “overwhelmed” by the support so far.

We are overwhelmed by people’s generosity and kind words. Thank you all so much

Tracy England

“Thank you so much to everyone for donations and offers of help we are truly touched by their generosity,” she said.

“The goal has always been to stay together as a family and, despite everything, we have been able to do this.

“It will make a huge difference to our family life as Duane will have regained some of his independence.”

The appeal called for help with painting, doors, flooring, lighting, soft furnishings and a garden transformation to allow Duane full access to the living space in his wheelchair.

As well as donations, tradesmen, labourers and landscapers have offered hours of labour time for free.

The group is also planning another series of fundraisers after a mass ice bucket challenge raised £750 for Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Visit the fundraising page here to donate or find out more about how to get involved.

Follow the family’s progress via the support groups’ Facebook page.