Fringe Box



Challengers Has Helped The Bedding Family Every Step Of The Way

Published on: 26 Nov, 2015
Updated on: 26 Nov, 2015

Gail Bedding and her family have overcome a lot of adversities over the years and despite their circumstances have come out fighting every time.

The family are an inspiration to many, and Guildford-based charity Challengers has been with the Bedding’s every step of the way.

The Bedding family.

The Bedding family.

Here, Gail reminisces about her family’s journey as she gets ready for Christmas.

“I discovered Challengers when Fergus was four years old, and it has changed our lives – it is our lives.

“I am a trustee of this amazing charity and will do as much as I can for it. My friends will vouch for that because I am always asking them to give and help, they are all truly amazing and always willing to support Challengers.

“As much as I love Fergus I would never have chosen this life for me and my family.

“Don’t get me wrong, I have made some incredible friends, changed my career; my kids, family, friends and their children are more aware of disability than I ever was at their age and I would like to think I am a much better person!

“But this is not quite the life that I expected. Unless you are a parent of a disabled child you will never understand what Challengers means to us all.

“In my job, as a trustee and ambassador over the past few years I have seen parents struggling everyday with children that have challenging behaviour, that are violent, kick, punch, bite; kids that don’t sleep, have no sense of danger; I see families torn apart by their disabled children and many marriages fail.

“Another parent once said to me, in my early years: ‘As a parent of a disabled child you are always a moment away from tears.’ – she was right

“However, this is where Challengers comes in. I book everything that I am allowed to, about six Saturdays per term, one day at half term, four days at Easter, six days in the summer holidays and after-school club every Thursday. This is when we have our freedom to do normal stuff that others take for granted.

“We can walk the dog all together, go shopping, visit friends for a coffee and watch my twins play sport. All the while, knowing that Fergus is having fun in a safe and stimulating environment.

“Challengers gives him independence away from me, he mixes with other children but also gets the one- to-one attention that he needs. The wonderful staff know him and know what he likes so he is able to cook, paint and go on the outside play area.”

The Countess of Wessex pays a visit to Challengers.

The Countess of Wessex pays a visit to Challengers.

A Challengers spokesperson added: “Challengers has various ways that people can support families just like Gail Bedding’s.

“You can buy our Christmas cards through our website and we are also running a Christmas appeal where you can donate different amounts.

“It all contributes to the children and young people at Challengers having a fantastic and festive Christmas holiday.”

For more information contact Hannah Woollven at Challengers, 01483 230060 or email

Challengers, Stoke Park, Guildford, GU1 1TU. A charitable company limited by guarantee no. 4300724. Registered Charity no.1095134.

Share This Post

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *