National disability charity SeeAbility exceeded its Big Give Christmas Challenge fundraising target of £50,000 this year, with donations reaching £56,000.
The figure marks the largest amount that the charity has raised through the annual online match funding campaign and it has issued a thank you to its supporters for making it happen.
SeeAbility confirmed that it will use the funds to establish a new service that offers support to young people and families affected by juvenile batten disease (JBD), a rare condition that affects the nervous system.
Symptoms of JBD begin to show in children aged five to eight-years-old. As one of the earliest signs of the disease involves deteriorating vision, it is often first suspected during a routine eye test. As the disease progresses, the young person will experience loss of muscle control, sight loss and early dementia.
SeeAbility will launch the Juvenile Batten Disease Outreach Service in partnership with the Batten Disease Family Association next year and it will be based at the charity’s Hampshire nursing care home, Heather House.
Chief executive of SeeAbility, Lisa Hopkins, said: “The impact of JBD on children and young people, and the toll it takes on their families, is huge. With no cure available, it is vital we use our expertise to give everyone affected by this disease the best possible quality of life.
“The money raised for SeeAbility by this year’s Big Give Christmas Challenge will help us to transform lives through our new outreach service. We are extremely grateful to every one of our supporters who has made this possible.”