Sunday, 28 July 2013



A family from Stow in Galashiels, Selkirkshire, is urging the local community to answer their call for old mobile phones – as part of a fundraising scheme aimed at equipping autistic children with iPads. 

Mandy Mitchelmore and Gary Anderson are calling on people to donate unwanted handsets, so that they can buy an iPad for their daughter Hattie, who has a rare form of epilepsy and hemiplegia.

Ten-year-old Hattie struggles with speech and language, which affects her ability to communicate – very similar to a child with autism. The seizures make rest difficult, and can cause Hattie to forget what she has learnt during the course of the day.

The scheme, run by autism charity Hearts & Minds Challenge, enables families to exchange old mobiles for iPads. Just 165 mobile phones can be traded in for a brand new iPad, which will make a real difference to youngsters like Hattie.

Hattie’s mum Mandy said: “The Hearts & Minds iPad scheme is amazing because it will not only enable Hattie to access learning across all areas but it will make learning fun and engaging for her too. An iPad will help Hattie to become a learner in her own right and develop her independence so that she feels part of her school group.”

I’d like to encourage anyone, who may have old or unwanted mobiles lying around at home, please drop them off at Stow Post Office and help transform our daughter’s life. Hattie has always loved technology; it motivates her and helps her to deal with the impact of her seizures.”

Hearts & Minds Challenge is a charity dedicated to supporting children and families touched by autism. The organisation, which is supported by Mel Sykes, Keith Duffy and Paul Scholes, aims to raise the quality of life for individuals and their families affected by the disorder, by ensuring the provision of the highest standards in education, care and support.

To date, the charity’s fundraising activity has raised over £500,000 and has helped to educate and support many children and families.

Ian McGrath, founder of Hearts & Minds, said: “This scheme has already helped to transform the lives of over 220 families around the UK and we would like to see many more people benefit.

The therapeutic benefits of using interactive, easy-to-use technology, such as an iPad, have now been widely recognised and really can make a difference. I’d like to encourage everyone to donate any old phones to help support Hattie and her family.”

If you have any unwanted mobile phones, you can drop them off at Stow Post Office where there is a collection box.

If you would like to find out more about the charity, please visit

Could an iPad help your child too?

If you live in Britain, simply collect 165 old mobile phones and the Manchester-based charity Hearts and Minds will exchange them for a new iPad.

Details here:

Website: :
Twitter: @handmchallenge
Pinterest: Hearts and Minds
Google+: Hearts and Minds

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