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Wisbech Family Attend Westminster Abbey Christmas Concert

08 December 2023

A family from Wisbech have been invited to attend the Princess of Wales' Christmas Concert at Westminster Abbey today (Friday).

They join a gathering of inspiring individuals dedicated to supporting children and families across the UK.

Ben and Sarah Dodkin, accompanied by their children Finley, Arthur, and Harrison, were among the guests invited by the Princess of Wales for their exceptional efforts in raising awareness about Batten's Disease.

Both Finley and Harrison, the Dodkin’s sons, are registered blind due to this rare neurological disease, impacting their vision, memory, and overall physical and mental abilities while significantly reducing their lifespan.

To shed light on Batten's Disease, Sarah Dodkin undertook a unique challenge, walking 100km around Wisbech blindfolded, simulating the daily experiences of her blind sons. The funds raised through sponsorships were donated to the Batten Disease Family Association (BDFA).

The BDFA is a charitable organisation dedicated to supporting individuals and families affected by Batten's Disease, helping them lead fulfilling lives. The association also actively works towards raising awareness about the disease and funds research for identifying therapies and potential cures.

The Princess of Wales' Christmas Concert this year is focused on recognising the unsung heroes who contribute to the well-being of the youngest members of society. Apart from the Dodkin family, the guest list included midwives, health visitors, early years practitioners, nursery teachers, and community volunteers.

This event will be broadcast for national audiences on ITV1 and ITV's streaming service, ITVX, on Christmas Eve.

Lord-Lieutenant Julie Spence OBE QPM said: "I am delighted that the commendable efforts of the Dodkin family in raising awareness for this rare and distressing disease have been recognised by Her Royal Highness and the Royal Foundation. I am sure they will enjoy the concert - their dedication to such a noble cause is truly commendable and deserving of the royal acclaim."