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Hornchurch teens running £5k to help The Dream Factory grant 500th challenge

PUBLISHED: 07:00 23 July 2020

Five-year-old Jacob Tompkins is hoping to go to Disneyland Paris with his family, courtesy of The Dream Factory, a charity who grants dreams for people with life-limiting conditions. Picture: The Dream Factory

Five-year-old Jacob Tompkins is hoping to go to Disneyland Paris with his family, courtesy of The Dream Factory, a charity who grants dreams for people with life-limiting conditions. Picture: The Dream Factory

Archant

Ten boys from Hornchurch’s Emerson Park Academy have done a 5k challenge to help grant the wish of Jacob Tompkins, a courageous young boy who has beaten all the odds.

Nine of the boys from Hornchurch's Emerson Park Academy which have taken part in a 5k running challenge for the Dream Factory, who are hoping to grant Jacob Tompkin's dream of going to Disneyland Paris with his family. Picture: Avril Mills BEMNine of the boys from Hornchurch's Emerson Park Academy which have taken part in a 5k running challenge for the Dream Factory, who are hoping to grant Jacob Tompkin's dream of going to Disneyland Paris with his family. Picture: Avril Mills BEM

Harrison, Alfie, Owen, Luke, Hadley, George, Navun, Liam, Riley and Lenny hope to raise £4,000 for Hainault charity The Dream Factory, which will use the money to make Jacob’s Disneyland Paris dream come true.

Jacob suffered brain damage following complications at birth.

After being resuscitated for 22 minutes, Jacob was given a 1 per cent chance of survival.

But he defied doctors’ predictions and now aged five he can walk, talk and even ride a bike.

Now, the Dream Factory wants to add his dream to the 490-plus it has already granted to those with life-threatening or life-limiting conditions.

Jacob’s mum Laura Tompkins said: “It’s amazing. I would personally love to thank the boys that are helping. You guys (The Dream Factory) are all amazing.”

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The factory — set up by Avril Mills in 2008 in memory of son Oliver, who died from leukemia aged nine — hopes to grant its 500th dream before the end of 2020.

Of this particular challenge, Avril said: “It’s lovely to see kids helping kids.”

Harrison Whitehead said: “We all go to Emerson Park Academy and are in Year 9. When we heard about the charity trying to grant Jacob’s dream and their 500th dream challenge, we really wanted to help raise money.”

So far the boys, all 14, have raised just over half their target, and are eager to reach £4,000 as soon as possible, so that Jacob’s dream can become a reality.

Like many charities, The Dream Factory has had to adjust to the new normal presented by coronavirus.

Avril told the Recorder that although times are “challenging”, she and her team are working hard to grant as many dreams as possible.

Jacob has overcome every adversity to become the special little boy he is, a Disney-loving child who brings endless joy to his family.

To donate to the boys’ effort, and help Jacob get to Paris, visit justgiving.com/fundraising/jacobsdisneyparisdream.


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