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For the past 2 years I have been volunteering at a weekly session at a disability centre in my local area called ‘Touch Trust’. It is something that is now very close to my heart and I am extremely grateful that I have been able to attend and be a part of it for such a long time. One of the main highlights of my time at Touch Trust so far is James. He welcomed me with open arms and a beautiful smile from my very first session there and continued his love every single week that I saw him.

James is an inspiration to me. I am so happy to have been a part of his life and to have been able to experience his beautiful heart and his beautiful soul. Every time I have been to Touch Trust over the past two years I have looked forward to seeing him and getting a ‘James Hug’ as I liked to call it. He would wrap his arms around me so tight with love that I could hardly breathe. His mum would almost have to prise him away from me – but I loved it. I loved the fact that he was so loving and caring.

He would let me play the drums with him and I would watch him perform little plays with his mum. My favourite part was to see him dance and join in with him!! James and I would spin around again and again until I would almost fall over and it was just amazing! James didn’t talk, but he didn’t need to. You could understand just what he was trying to tell you. He could communicate to you with his hands and most importantly with his beautiful smile.

James’ mother is also extremely inspirational to me. Looking after him must have taken a lot of work due to his needs but I have never, not even once seen her without a smile upon her face. This is despite the fact that she faces tough medical problems herself. She is so strong and full of love that you just feel love being in her presence. She is a wonderful woman who I have so very much respect for and I am so sorry to see what she is going through.

I only saw James once a week, however I often found myself thinking about him mid week and seeing things that reminded me of him that I would tell him about in the following Saturday session. My favourite reminder of James was charity shops. I thought of him every time I went into one or even walked past one in our local town- as his mum had told me that he could spend hours looking around a charity shop for books, CDs, DVDs, all to add to his extensive collection.

I was extremely saddened to hear that this wonderful boy’s life had been taken away from him. I didn’t even know what to think – I had been thinking about him that morning hoping he would come to the session that day as he had not attended for a while due to his mums illness. I can’t even imagine how his family are feeling. I only spent one hour a week with James and felt full of his love I can’t even comprehend how people who got to experience his love every single day could feel.

James was a beautiful ball of shining light that will continue to shine and stay in my heart along with the hearts of many others and I am so sad that his life has been taken away from him at such a young age- I just ask that you all keep James and his wonderful family in your thoughts and prayers and most importantly appreciate every moment of your life- as that is just what James did!!

I’m off, Beth x

If anybody is touched by James’ story and would like to donate to Touch Trust in memory of him, please feel free to do so.

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