Kind-hearted cousins rally to support Wigan teen struck down by neurological condition

Lauren Almond outside the Rose Club
Lauren Almond outside the Rose Club

Kind-hearted cousins are going to keep a fund-raising campaign for a Wigan teenager struck down with a neurological condition in the family.

Lauren and Connor Almond, from Aspull, are putting on a night at The Rose Club in Hindley to help their 16-year-old cousin Jade Almond.

Jade Almond

Jade Almond

Jade was first diagnosed with functional neurological disorder(FND) last year and made amazing progress before, horrifyingly, she went back to square one several weeks ago following a motorway shunt.

She and her family are now fund-raising once more to get to a private rehabilitation centre in Sheffield for intensive treatment and 18-year-old Lauren and her brother Connor, 15, are determined to help.

Details of the fund-raiser, which takes place in May, are still being decided but will probably reference some of sporty Jade’s many hobbies and interests.

Lauren also spoke of the effect Jade’s desperate medical battle has had on the family.

She said: “It was my idea and I spoke to Connor and he thought it was a good idea too, so we’re both helping out with it now.

“We’re so close to Jade and you see the struggles she and her family have, not having enough money for rehabilitation. It’s awful. It’s been very up and down because she got better, was walking and then the crash happened and you just didn’t know where to look or turn.

“Anything we can get will help because it is just so expensive for private rehab.

“It’s going to be a full night of entertainment because Jade was a very active girl doing football, dance and drama. We’re not saying no to anything because it is what she would want.”

Their mum Norma Littler spoke of her pride at Lauren and Connor and said how it had affected them.

She said: “It has been hard because as cousins they have always been very close.

“Jade and Connor have always enjoyed passing a rugby ball around between themselves and they all spent time with their grandparents, including going away on holiday together.

“Lauren and Connor were really disheartened when she had her setback, they were absolutely devastated for her.

“They just want to get as many people involved as possible. Jade has given a lot to the community so we now need to get together to help get her back to how she should be.”

Lauren, who goes to Wigan and Leigh College, and Three Towers School pupil Connor are getting in touch with Wigan Athletic as Jade played in goal for the under-16s ladies’ team.

They are also speaking to a number of local singers about performing at the venue also known as The Monaco Ballroom and there could be an open mic session on the night as well as fund-raising activities such as raffles and auctions.

Currently they are searching for a DJ to provide a suitable soundtrack to the night and for comedian, having already booked magic acts.

The idea of helping Jade has already proved popular, with more than 100 tickets reserved for the event.

John Norcott, the manager at the Hindley venue, said he was delighted to be supporting Lauren and Connor’s efforts by offering them the place for free.

The fund-raiser for Jade Almond takes place on May 11 from 7pm. Tickets are £5. To find out more or book, search for the event Charity Night For Jade Almonds Rehabilitation X on Facebook.