A Sponsored Child scheme has helped a young girl overcome the most terrifying ordeal of her life.
Eleven-year-old Ellie from Cuckfield had two eye operations after being diagnosed with Keratoconus at the end of last year.
Keratoconus is an eye condition where the typically dome-shaped cornea thins causing a cone-shaped bulge resulting in possible sight loss.
To take her mind off the trauma, Ellie’s mum, Michelle Smith, applied for the KalliKids Sponsor a Child Scheme.
Ellie was one of 21 youngsters chosen and since Easter has been attending sewing classes with Made and Making in Ditchling.
Michelle said: “Ellie was terrified about what she was going through. She needed something to look forward to and the KalliKids Sponsored Child gave her this. I would never have been able to afford it otherwise.
She has learned how to use a sewing machine and made herself a bag. For me watching her confidence grow has been the main boost.”
KalliKids launched Sponsor a Child back in January to enable youngsters across Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire to learn a new skill for a year for free. The activities range from swimming and tennis to maths and drama. Made in Making offers a range of sewing and craft lessons across Sussex.
KalliKids is an accreditation service representing around 313 providers of children and family services and has more than 3000 parent members. Each provider has been checked and recommended by parents before being accredited.
Karen Bach, founder, said: “I am really proud of Sponsor a Child. We have had such positive feedback from everyone involved. The youngsters are benefitting in so many ways.”
Michelle definitely agrees it has been worthwhile for Ellie, who attends Warden Park School in Haywards Heath.
“After Ellie’s operation I was also diagnosed with the same condition which added to the stress levels in the family. We are now going through procedures to see if it is a genetic issue,” said Michelle.
“For Ellie, Made and making has helped her socially. I think the scheme is simply brilliant.”
Michelle said: "Ellie was terrified about what she was going through. She needed something to look forward to and the KalliKids Sponsor a Child gave her this."
Karen Bach, KalliKids founder, said: "I am really proud of Sponsor a Child. We have had such positive feedback from everyone involved. The youngsters benefit in so many ways."