Darts stars step up to oche for little Penny

Penny and Jess Barratt of Sleaford. EMN-180130-112747001
Penny and Jess Barratt of Sleaford. EMN-180130-112747001

A professional darts player from Sleaford has enlisted some of the top players in the game to help a little two year old’s family.

Penny Barratt, also from Sleaford, was born with a rare condition called Apert Syndrome.

Pro darts player Jason Marriott in action. EMN-180130-112606001

Pro darts player Jason Marriott in action. EMN-180130-112606001

The condition affects her growth, fusing her fingers and toes, the bones of her face are sunken and she had premature fusion of her skull plates causing pressure on her brain requiring surgery. Her development is delayed, she sometimes relies on oxygen and needs a feeding tube.

Local darts pro’ Jason Marriott heard of Penny and her family’s daily battle and felt compelled to help. He said: “Her mum tells me she can only have one pair of specialist shoes for Penny as they cost £140-£160 a pair. Her parents have to keep driving her to Birmingham for hospital treatment and so I wanted to take a bit of pressure off.”

He has called upon friends in the sport who were delighted to put on an exhibition match at William Alvey School hall on May 26. Doors open at 6pm for 7pm start, with bar, auction, tombola and raffle.

Jason said: “One of the guys said he realised just how lucky we are with our children.”

Guests include women’s Number 1 Lorraine Winstanley and her husband Dean - also a former world Number 1; former World Champion John Walton, Michael Barnard, Ryan Meikle, Nathan Derry, Dave Ladley and Jason Metcalf. Darts MC Chris Fletcher is supplying his PA equipment and staging.

Penny’s mum Jess is staggered, saying: “I’m blown away. Apparently Jason was nervous how I would react when he suggested it.

“The NHS will only supply one pair of shoes at a time. I cannot afford more, so Jason said he would sort it.

“We are travelling to Birmingham two or three times a month.

“Penny has recently had surgery and check ups and next week she goes to the cranio-facial team’s plastic surgeon, the speech and language team and the respiratory team. She is doing really well but still has a lot of hurdles to overcome.”

Jason is also looking for local sponsors for the event.

Tickets are £10. Call 07957050920 or email dartsforpenny2018@gmail.com

All donations welcome.