Kind couple reach out to tot

Gary and Caroline Overton, Overton Bridge End Cafe, Bridge End, Brighouse with Shantelle Hirst and her son Toby-James
Gary and Caroline Overton, Overton Bridge End Cafe, Bridge End, Brighouse with Shantelle Hirst and her son Toby-James

Two kind-hearted cafe owners are holding a fundraising day to help a little boy with a skull disorder.

Caroline and Gary Overton, owners of the Overton Bridge End Cafe, Brighouse, are hoping to raise much needed funds for Toby-James Barnfather.

One-year-old Toby-James was born with plagiocephaly, commonly known as ‘flat head syndrome’, which occurs when the head is flattened on one side.

The condition affects around 47 per cent of babies, but reconstructive treatment through a special helment is not available on the NHS as it is classed as cosmetic.

Toby-James’ mum, Shantelle Hirst, 28, and partner John-Michael Barnfather, 27, of Crowtrees Lane, Rastrick, have worked tirelessly to raise they money they need.

One scan alone can cost around £200, but Caroline and Gary, from Brighouse, now hope they can help the family out.

Caroline, 48, said: “They came into the cafe and we saw Toby had a helmet on, at first we thought it was a play helmet, but then realised it was for a need he had.

“Because it’s classed as cosmetic he can’t get any help, so I said ‘we can do something’. You don’t need to know someone to give them help.”

“On the day, there will be name the teddy bear, raffles and colouring for the children, we really just want people to come down to meet Toby and his mum.”

And it’s a cause close to Gary’s heart, as his daughter died of a brain tumour when she was just eight years old.

Gary added: “I know how hard it is when your child is disabled and when you see someone like that, it’s nice to do something to help.”

The money raised will go towards Toby-James’ scans and the rest of the money needed for the helmet.

And although Caroline and Gary’s offer was a surprise to Shantelle, she couldn’t be happier.

The mum-of-three said: “I was shocked, I didn’t know what to stay and I still don’t.

“Gary and Caroline were strangers but now I feel like I have some lifelong friends.”

The fundraising day will be held on Saturday at the Overton Bridge End Cafe, Bridge End, from 10am until 1pm.

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