A MOTHER has won crucial council funding to send her disabled son to a specialist school – more than 100 miles away from their Malpas home.
Three months after launching an ambitious quest to raise the required £238,000 for 19-year-old Joe to further his education, Edel Rae is celebrating after Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC) and the Young People’s Learning Agency (YPLA) agreed to pay his fees for the two-year course.
Joe, who was born with severe physical and learning difficulties, has just started at the National Star residential college in Cheltenham, which will provide him with crucial specialist therapy and the same social, leisure and learning activities as a university.
No Cheshire colleges could provide appropriate further education so Edel had to look outside the county.
Although Joe was originally accepted into a school in Surrey he was then offered a place at his original choice, the larger National Star College.
Edel’s campaign for 76,000 people to donate £3 or more to The Joe Rae Trust has raised £11,000, which will fund special equipment that will help Joe at college.
“On Joe’s last day of school, I put him in the taxi feeling awful because he probably wouldn’t be able to go to the school. But that afternoon everything changed when I heard the fees would be paid for,” Edel said.
“It was such an exciting day when he left. There were no tears, everyone was so happy and Joe was giddy with excitement.
“I am overwhelmed by people’s generosity and want to thank everyone who donated. The world is full of kind people.”
A CWaC spokesperson said: “The council assessed Joe’s needs in partnership with the YPLA and both will support Joe in a school that can meet all his health, education and social care needs.”