A CAMPAIGN to help ‘Give a Voice’ to a young Moray boy who struggles to communicate his needs has received a major boost.
Four-year-old Corey Mceleney, who has severe autism and global developmentdelay, is unable to talk or communicate what he wants.
So when Lossie schoolboy Mattie Paterson (14) learned about a speech generator device that could change the youngster’s life, he launched an appeal to help.
In its first four weeks, the ‘Give Corey A Voice’ fund raised more than £600.
But thanks to the generosity of friends and the local community, as well as a £100 donation posted anonymously to ‘The Scot’, that figure has now reached £1,000.
The device is activated by pressing pictures and will help Corey tell parents Scott and Becks, of Lossiemouth, when he is hungry, thirsty or in pain.
On borrowing similar technology for a day, he was able to ask for an orange juice for the first time in his young life.
"Hopefully, the equipment will help relieve some of the communication barriers and heartache of not knowing what Corey needs," the reader wrote.
Mattie learned about the anonymous donation, as well as other money given by friends and family, on his return from a school skiing trip to Italy.
He said: "It is just amazing how much has been raised. I’d like to thank everyone who has helped, their kindness has been incredible."
The S3 pupil at Lossie High barely knew Corey when he decided he wanted to help.
"He just really touched me. He is such a lovely little boy, so I wanted to do what I could," he said.
Mattie is being supported in the drive by his family, including aunt Laura Christie who described Corey as a "loveable wee rogue".
"He is an amazing wee boy and we have been overwhelmed by the generosity of friends, neighbours, and family because everyone has helped so much. It is just amazing."
They are now planning a raffle which will take place in the New Year.
Meanwhile, Corey has been referred to the Scottish Centre of Technology for the Communication Impaired and a specialist will decide which model would best suit his needs. A basic machine, which has 32 pictures and can be programmed to use a familiar voice, costs about £350, while the more advanced option has a price tag of £1,700. Should a cheaper option be considered suitable, any excess money will remain in the trust’s bank account for upgrades as Corey progresses.
His parents have been hugely touched by the generosity of those running the campaign, as well as the wider community.
"If he had that communication, if he had that voice, it would be incredible," Scott said.
Becks said she was amazed that the total had reached £1,000 in such a short space of time.
"It was magical to see out the year with that total. It’s absolutely brilliant," she added.