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Bermondsey fundraiser in Blue Anchor pub to give Ruby ‘fantastic Christmas’


A Christmas fundraiser will be held in the Blue Anchor pub in Bermondsey on Saturday in aid of Ruby Longman.

News readers raised more than £10,000 for Ruby, ten, over the course of this year so she could get a computer to help her communicate.

Ruby suffers from the rare Rett syndrome, which has prevented her from walking and talking since she was a baby.

The new computer made by Smartbox was fitted in September at Alfred Salter Primary School, where she had the chance to play games and write a story.

Now as the festive season begins, members of the community who helped in the campaign are coming together to help her have a “fantastic Christmas”.

“We have quite a lot to auction off including signed home and away Millwall shirts, play-off tickets as well as a signed football,” said Arthur Simon, one of the organisers.

“It will be fantastic. Timi [Ruby’s mum] and Ruby will be there and I just want to make this Christmas as special as I can for her. She stole my heart when I first saw her. She’s a lovely little girl.

(L-R) Arthur Simon and Simon Davis
(L-R) Arthur Simon and Simon Davis

“The money can go to anything they want to get and give Ruby a quality Christmas. The pressure on the family must be immense so if we can help her or the family in one way or another then it’s worth it.

“The Millwall community has really come together. They don’t get the credit they deserve sometimes.”

Simon Davis, another organiser, said: “I can’t begin to believe the struggle that the family has gone through. Ruby and Timi came to my wedding a few weeks ago.

“It makes me determined to help them and it’s nice to give something back. There’s not enough awareness of Ruby’s Rett syndrome.

“They should have a nice Christmas.”

Doors at the Blue Anchor pub in Southwark Park Road open at 5pm, on December 3, and all are welcome.

How the computer works

The device News readers helped buy works by tracking where Ruby is looking and registering an action if she looks for long enough.

At this early stage, Ruby will start to learn that the choices she makes on the screen will lead to real life responses from those around her.

As she becomes more familiar with the device, the software becomes more comprehensive, with an adult version allowing the user to select specific words to speak.


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