Three generations of the Grimer family joined forces and inspired a school community to help raise more than £5,600 for Loud Shirt Day.

Six-year-old Orson sparked the family fundraising idea which centred around the figure 6,825 - the cost of one year of Auditory Verbal therapy from AVUK.

The amazing efforts included Grandad John’s dawn running effort, Orson’s fantastic story including the numbers six and eight, three-year-old Mei’s puzzle challenge and a range of fitness challenges completed by parents Avril and Martin.

Orson and Mei’s school Mulberry House in West Hampstead also took part with Orson telling his own story in a letter to the school family and then showing his classmates how to create tie dye T-Shirts to wear on a non-uniform day.

Victoria Playford, Headteacher, said: “We are really proud of Orson, having joined the school at two years old, it has been a joy to watch him flourish into a confident charismatic individual. He now has the tools available to approach each new challenge with determination and resilience. We are so proud to be supporting him.”

Orson was born three-months prematurely and after weeks in intensive care he was diagnosed with moderate-severe high frequency sensorineural hearing loss in both ears (his hearing loss has been caused by a mutation on the Connexin 26 gene).  

He was fitted with hearing aids at 18-months-old and after finding out about Auditory Verbal UK Orson started sessions with the Bermondsey based charity when he was two year’s old and graduated two and a half years later a year ahead on the Preschool Language Scales assessment.

Avril explained: “For a young boy who cannot hear the sound of a bike bell, birds singing and the doorbell ringing without his hearing aids it was an incredible achievement.”

Loud Shirt Day 2020 was rescheduled due to the global pandemic and had a very different look to previous years but the family rose to the challenge and set up an entire week of challenges.

Orson cycled for 6,825 seconds - which is an hour and 53 mins - over six days; remembered as many six and eight timetables in 68 seconds; wrote a story that included the number six and eight, read eight chapters of a book and stood on one foot for 68 seconds.

His three-year-old sister Mei also scootered for 6,825 seconds over six days, completed six puzzles over six days, told her family a six-page story and recognised six letters and numbers each day.

Dad Martin did six HIIT classes over six days, 68 press ups a day and drew eight caricatures. 

Mum Avril walked 6,825 steps every day; ran for 6,825 seconds over six days and held a plank for 68 seconds every day.

Superstar Grandad John (69) also ran for 6,825 seconds over six days getting up at dawn and pounding the streets before 5am most mornings!

Both the school and the Grimer family smashed their fundraising targets and the total stands at £5,687 with money still coming in.

AVUK Head of Communication and Fundraising Emma Johnson said: “We cannot thank the Grimer family and Mulberry House School and everyone else for the effort, imagination and fun they brought to Friday’s Loud Shirt Day.

“Like many other charities we had to pivot and move our services online to ensure deaf children and their families continued to get the support they needed. We took the same approach with Loud Shirt Day to make sure we could still enjoy an event which has established itself in the charity calendar not only raising much needed funds but also raising awareness of what deaf children can achieve.”

And there is still time to donate and help more deaf babies and children flourish like Orson.