£3k boost to help find Elian a ‘friend’

Denby mum, Andrea Thomas with her children, Jayme, left, and Elian Gonzalez-Thomas who needs an assistance dog.
Denby mum, Andrea Thomas with her children, Jayme, left, and Elian Gonzalez-Thomas who needs an assistance dog.

A Denby mum has been left gobsmacked after a charity donated £3,000 to help secure a four-legged friend for her autistic son.

Heanor-based charity The Charlotte Blackman Memorial Fund has handed over the money to Andrea Thomas after reading about six-year-old Elian in the News last month.

Elian Gonzalez-Thomas suffers from autistic spectrum disorder and global developmental disorder.

Although he’s been accepted to receive an assistance dog, his mum Andrea needs to raise £6,600 to fund it. But thanks to the donation is a step closer.

Andrea said: “I am absolutely over the moon – I was gobsmacked when I first read the email from charity founder Rachel Blackman, saying they would like to donate the money.

“This has gone a considerable way to helping us get the dog for Elian – which will be a lifesaver. We are so thankful for the donation – for all the donations.”

Rachel of Blackman, of the trust set up in memory of her daughter, said the charity was happy to help Elian.

“We wanted to donate to Elian’s fund because the money we raise from the fund is used to help improve the lives of vulnerable and autistic children.

“Elian’s fund was ideal for us to donate to as it was local and the dog will provide stimulus to all the family,” she said.

The family has still got £1,400 to find before they can secure a new friend for Elian.

There will be a bag-packing event and raffle at Morrisons in Belper from 10am on Saturday (June 20) to raise more cash.

To donate to the fund, visit Elian’s justgiving page at crowdfunding.justgiving.com/projectpaws.