How Crowdfunding can help disabled teen have home of his own – in family’s back garden


Parents of Jamie Thomas are appealing for public help after £20,000 bill shock

Parents who are building a house in their garden for their disabled teenage son have launched a public appeal for £20,000 to cover unexpected bills.

Carol and Peter Thomas raised £150,000 of their own money to build a house in Slaithwaite so that son Jamie, 19, can have some independence.

Jamie was born with CHARGE syndrome which means he is deaf and has sensory impairments and difficulties balancing.

He finds it difficult to move around and to communicate but is a happy young man who is clever, curious and has a great sense of humour.

Jamie lives with his parents and 16-year-old brother Adam but Carol and Peter want Jamie to have the independence that he naturally craves, supported by people who understand him and who have the skills to communicate with him.

After exploring all alternatives – from renting to buying an already built house – they came up with what they believed was the perfect solution, designing and building a house in their garden.

This would not only give Jamie his independence, but at the same time keep him close to his parents, his brother and in the community he loves.

The couple funded the original build of £150,000 by cashing in what they could from their pensions.

Everything was going smoothly until it was discovered that as their own property was built in 1935, the electricity runs off the street lighting.

This meant that a brand new electricity supply for Jamie’s home has to be created. It will mean digging up 75 metres of pavement and crossing a road.

The couple were also hit with further costs relating to foundation work which hadn’t been anticipated.

Carol, 58, who gave up work to care for Jamie, said the unexpected costs were a “total shock.”

She added: “We weren’t that far from finishing off the house – the roof was on, the windows were in – and we were starting to see Jamie’s dream home become a reality.

“But this is a real bombshell. We’re just a normal, average family and have used what savings we have to build a home for Jamie.

“It was a friend who suggested that we try and crowdfund to raise the extra money.

“But asking for help is not really something that we’re comfortable with – but at the end of the day, we’ll cope with any level of discomfort as long as Jamie gets his home.”

The house had been two years in the planning and, as well as the build, Carol and Peter have worked with the local authority to ensure that Jamie would also have the right staff to support him in his fight for independence.

Peter, 57, who works as a quantity surveyor, said: “All young adults long for independence and personal space. And for the majority of them, this comes naturally as they start their careers or move to university.

“We want this for Jamie too, and as we are older parents we want to make sure that Jamie has his own home, that gives him the permanence and certainty that he needs.

“We’ve already been overwhelmed by the generosity of friends, family and our local community.”

The crowdfunding appeal on Just Giving has already raised more than £1,100.

To donate go to:


Leave A Reply