A young boy with special needs has been given the bedroom of his dreams after an armed forces charity came to the aid of a city family.
Young Samuel Owen has been given the downstairs room, with his own shower room attached, thanks to SSAFA.
The five-year-old boy has a major brain malformation, and has trouble with mobility and has frequent seizures, needing full time care. SSAFA came to the aid as his dad, Nicky Bowles (40) served in the Royal Engineers for eight years, completing tours of Kosovo and Afghanistan.
The charity provided a grant of £10,000, after Peterborough City Council provided more than £30,000 but were unable to completely fund the work at the family’s home in the Sugar Way estate in Peterborough.
Susan said: “Sam struggles with stairs, and we would have to carry him – it is not too bad when he was a baby, but it is difficult when he got older.
“The room has given him a real bit of independence. He loves his room, and the freedom it has given him.”
Sam has a twin sister, Annie, and an older brother, Jacob (10), who has severe autism.
Susan, who cares for the children full time after qualifying to be a solicitor in 2009, and has retained her maiden name after marrying Nicky, said: “His sister now really wants a bathroom in her room as well!
“They all get on really well, and its made a huge difference to all our lives.
“We can’t thank Peterborough City Council or SSAFA enough.
“We knew the work had to be done, and we would have to have found a way, but not every family has £40,000 lying about for work like this.
“We would not have been able to get the works done any where nearly as quickly if we did not have the support of them.”
Nicky still works in the security industry, and having left the army in 2004 he has worked in the middle east and received the Iraq Reconstruction Service Medal for his work in the Middle East.
Susan said: “We met as he was coming to the end of his army service. He left the army as he wanted to start a family, and spend more time at home.”
SSAFA is a charity which helps veterans from the Air Force, Army and Navy and their families, providing a varity of services. For more information visit www.ssaffa.org.uk