A PENARTH woman whose son was born with a rare form a cerebral palsy is set to star in a performance of the Vicar of Dibley in a bid to raise money for his treatment.

Fiona Porter-Smith, 43, will take the lead role in a four-day performance of the comedy hit at All Saints Church Hall in Penarth later this month.

All the money raised from the show will go towards the Walk with Alfie appeal that helps fund intense physiotherapy and muscle strengthening for her two-year-old son Alfie.

Hazelhurst Nursery’s Alfie was born with a rare form of cerebral palsy that has left his muscles ‘limp and floppy’ and makes it difficult for him to support himself. He has already undergone intense physiotherapy that has helped him be able to sit unsupported and he is edging closer to being able to crawl and stand too.

Fiona, who lives on Heol y Brenin near Dinas Road, said that although he was still behind children in terms of development, he was learning all the time and was getting closer to building up strength in his muscles.

“It’s a bit overwhelming seeing his development,” she said.

“For most parents it’s something they take for granted, but to see him doing little things is amazing.

“He’s starting to kneel now and he tries to pull himself up to be sat.

“He’s not quite crawling but he tries to drag himself across the floor.”

She said that in future he would need walking frames to help him stand and support himself, but in the meantime he was using specialist equipment to help him learn to stand.

As part of her fundraising she has also teamed up with the mum of another little boy from Hazelhurst Nursery, Felix Forbes, to launch a book of poems.

Felix was born with a rare genetic brain disorder called Lissencephaly and Miller-Dieker Syndrome. The condition means that his brain hasn’t developed properly and he is unable to walk, talk and support himself.

Proceeds from the book, titled “Where Unicorns & Dolphins Dance” and written by Jan Maissen, will be split between both families.

“I know how hard it is to fundraiser, so I thought it would be good if we did it together,” said Fiona.

“It’s a nice way to help other people.”

There is no set price for the book, but people buying copies are asked to make a donation of their own choice. They have recently printed off more than 1000 copies of the book and are hoping to sell them all locally.

For copies of the book contact Fiona on fiporter@aol.com.

Performances of The Vicar of Dibley, featuring The Arrival, The Easter Bunny and The Engagement episodes, will be held at All Saints Church Hall from August 27 until August 30 with each performance starting at 7.30pm.

Written by Richard Curtis and Richard Mayhew-Archer, produced by Pat Shirley, an amateur performance in conjunction with Comic Relief, in aid of Walk With Alfie.

Tickets are £10 or £9 and available from Foxy's Deli, Victoria Road, Penarth; www.ticketsource.co.uk/walkwithalfie; or by calling 0759067763

Raising funds to help Alfie walk www.walkwithalfie.co.uk


You can also donate to the family of Felix Forbes at https://www.justgiving.com/GoFelix/