Concert to thank charity for support

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Deidre Tasker (nee Havlin), the highly respected traditional Irish flute and whistle player from Ballymoney who starred in the critically acclaimed group Déanta, has launched an annual fundraising event to thank the charity that has given so much support to her 5-year-old son.

The inaugural ‘Theo’s Charity Fundraiser’ concert, presented by the Causway Traditional Players, will take place on Saturday October 8 at the Ballymoney Town Hall.

The show will feature a set by the traditional Irish group, The London Lasses, described by Irish Music Magazine as ‘One of the best bands on the scene.’

Theo Tasker, a pupil at Sandleford Special Educational School, in Coleraine, was born with Down’s syndrome.

In 2011 he starred in the hit ITV soap Emmerdale as Leo Goskirk, son of Rhona Goskirk and Marlon Dingle. He left the show after complications following surgery, in 2011, left him with a congenital heart condition, epilepsy and left sided hemiplegia, a condition that affects his movement and posture.

Until recently Theo was unable to walk but now, thanks to fundraising support from Caudwell Children, the national charity that provides practical and emotional support to disabled children and their families, he can now walk when assisted.

With continued support from the charity Deidre says that she and husband, Gary, have real hope that Theo may soon be able to walk unaided. As she explained: “Theo’s condition means that he requires intensive physiotherapy and the charity has been instrumental in ensuring that he gets this.

“Firstly they provided the dedicated fundraising support that allowed us to buy a specialist tricycle for Theo. The tricycle is engineered to make pedalling that much easier. It not only provides vital physical therapy but also develops and increased sense of independence and social inclusion, which is so important for children of Theo’s’ age.”

Deidre can’t thank the charity enough for their assistance as the specialist equipment and physiotherapy comes at a price. And now, thanks to her collective group of musicians, the Causway Traditional Players, Deidre is set to pay back her debt of gratitude to the charity.

Tickets cost £10 and can be secured by ringing or texting Gary on 07568 379592.