East End rallies around Ruby to give her a brighter new year

THE family of a young girl who suffered a life-altering brain injury are looking forward to a brighter new year after an auction to raise funds for her care pulled in almost �20,000.

In a touching display of community spirit, East End businesses, artists and residents rallied together, offering their time and money to help six-year-old Ruby Lambert.

Ruby is receiving round-the-clock care at the Children’s Trust in Surrey as she lost much of her movement and speech after suffering a brain injury in April.

During a normal day at her Islington school, Ruby collapsed with massive heart failure which later affected her brain.

Her parents, Catherine Newell and Simon Lambert, of Darwen Place, Bethnal Green, said they had been “absolutely delighted and touched” by the overwhelming response.

Bethnal Green’s Rochelle School offered the venue on December 13, prominent artists from as far afield as New York and Dublin donated pieces and bids came from all over the world.

After the art auction, Ms Newell said: “The way so many different individuals and organisations joined together to help Ruby was simply wonderful and a perfect example of why this is such a great community to be part of. There was a lot of goodwill.”

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When the Advertiser first highlighted Ruby’s plight earlier this month, our website was inundated with messages of support for the family.

El Barfelini wrote: “It’s really moving to see how much effort is going into Ruby’s recovery, not least from Ruby herself who is proving to be a real battler.”

Another supporter, named as Dave, said: “Ruby is a remarkable child with equally remarkable parents, and they deserve to be supported during this most difficult and anxious time. The generosity of those involved bears testament to the strength of that community.”

Mary Caven, Ruby’s former head teacher and chair of her trust, said: “Ruby is an amazing little girl and she’s shown much courage. The Ruby we knew is coming out and that’s incredible.

“The auction was a huge boost. We had people coming in off the street and telling us they had read Ruby’s story and wanted to help.”

The determined young East Ender is gradually regaining the use of her limbs and showing significant progress.

Her full-time treatment at the Children’s Trust is being paid for by NHS Tower Hamlets, but her parents fear the service could end when the public spending cuts take full effect next year,

The family is donating 10 per cent of the auction’s proceeds to London’s Air Ambulance as Ruby was transported by rapid response after her collapse.

To leave a message of support for Ruby and her family, go to the Advertiser’s website, eastlondonadvertiser.co.uk.

Donations can be made at one4ruby.com.