Moved to tears by acts of kindness

Craigrothie; Dad David Horrocks with four-year-old son Ritchie, who has achondroplasia, and has just got a special bed.'Photo ; WALTER NEILSON
Craigrothie; Dad David Horrocks with four-year-old son Ritchie, who has achondroplasia, and has just got a special bed.'Photo ; WALTER NEILSON

THE mum of a four-year-old Craigrothie boy who’s touched the hearts of a community has told how she was moved to tears by the latest ‘astounding’ act of kindness.

Moira Horrocks, whose son Ritchie has achondroplasia, a form of short-limbed dwarfism, launched a fund-raising appeal to pay for adaptations to the family home after becoming frustrated by a lack of support from the local authority.

After their plight was highlighted in the Fife Herald last July, local people took Ritchie to their hearts, raising enough money for work to begin on special bathroom facilities.

And when Peter Doyle from the plumbing firm Dyno-Rod turned up last Friday to carry out a drain survey for the wet room plans, he was so taken with Ritchie that he too wanted to do something to help.

“He said he had to go to his van and would be back in a few minutes,” said Moira.

“He came back about 20 minutes later with tears in his eyes and said that he’d spoken to his boss and that not only would the survey be free of charge but the staff wanted to do something to raise funds too.

“It was an astounding act of kindness and very moving indeed.”

She continued: “A short time later Tracey Snedden, the manager of Dyno-Rod, called to say that the staff were planning to climb Ben Nevis on September 22 and were turning it into a fund-raising event for Ritchie.”

Next, the Kennoway-based structural engineers Dryburgh Associates offered their services free of charge and the Cupar plumber and heating engineer Mark Simpson offered to sponsor a fund-raising event on September 29 in which participants plan to walk from Cupar to St Andrews in 80s-style fancy dress.

Meanwhile the youngster was thrilled to be able to move from his cot into a ‘big boy’s bed’ this week, thanks to the Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children.

The charity provided the specially-made bed, which can be adjusted to a height of just 20cm so that Ritchie can roll in and out on his own, but can also be raised to waist level so that his care needs can be attended to.

He’s also just finished his first week at Westfield Nursery in Cupar, where he’s proving a big hit with the other children.

Moira said: “He’s just come alive and is really enjoying the extra challenges that nursery presents and the positive friendships he’s made.

“He’s a very sociable little boy and others just seem to warm to him. He’s like a little magnet.”

To find out more, visit The Ritchie Horrocks Fund Facebook page.