Torch mum's tears of joy

Published: 25 Mar 2012 12:00

A DEVOTED mum, hospital matron and health campaigner who has fought to improve the lives of Down's Syndrome children will be "running for her boys"

Share this image

when she proudly carries the Olympic Torch through Reading.

Brenda Morton wept on Wednesday in anticipation of the joy on the faces of her two young sons when she carries the flame through the town on Wednesday, July 11, in front of thousands of cheering onlookers.

The West Berkshire Down's syndrome Group chairwoman and Royal Berkshire Hospital emergency unit matron, initially wanted to nominate her son Piers, eight, and his adopted four-year-old brother Joshua, who both suffer from the genetic disorder, as torchbearers. But then applied herself at the last minute when she discovered they were too young.

The 49-year-old said: "It means so much to me and I was so emotional when I found out. It's in recognition of my children and I will be running for my boys. They are vulnerable and don't get the same opportunities as other children, but they are part of the community too. They love sport and outdoor activities and to see their mum with the Olympic torch will make them proud."

Brenda, who lives in Shinfield with husband Bill, admitted it was a "huge challenge" bringing up Piers but it inspired the couple to adopt Joshua as a 12-week-old baby and the two boys help support each other.

She said: "It's not easy, you have to fight for everything. Nothing is straightforward and you feel isolated from other mothers and you get segregated from the start."

However, things were made easier when she joined the group in 2003, which offers emotional, educational and social support to youngsters and their families.

She became chairwoman two years ago and her achievements include extending its speech and language therapy courses and supplying information packs to maternity units advising pregnant women and new mothers who are often unaware of the condition.

Last year she raised £3,500 for the charity by running the Green Park Challenge and is poised to open a new social club to enable older Down's Syndrome children to enjoy day trips and visits to the cinema, bowling alleys and coffee shops.

Group members will line the streets to cheer her on plus colleagues from the hospital's Emergency Department and Clinical Decision unit and her route is likely to be between London Road and Northumberland Avenue.

She added: "For me it's about being part of something big for the country and getting our charity recognised - there's still a lot of ignorance about Down's Syndrome. It's going to be a big honour and I will probably cry that day too."

Jump to first paragraph.

Get more stories from our Roundup section

24 Apr 2014 12:00 • James Ash

Going back to wartime

HISTORY lovers from across the south came together last weekend as a country manor returned to World War II.


24 Apr 2014 10:30 • Nick Gutteridge

EXCLUSIVE: Opposition growing to plans for a garden city to the south of Reading

FURIOUS neighbours issued a call to arms last night as they vowed to fight “tooth and nail” to stop plans to build a 30,000-home garden city south of Reading.

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 09:42 • James Ash

Tilehurst teen's top score for charity

A DEDICATED teenager has raised nearly £3,000 for a charity football match.


23 Apr 2014 12:00 • Tessa Watkins

V-amping it up at The Oracle

THOUSANDS of screaming fans queued for hours for the chance to meet their favourite band at an eagerly anticipated album signing.


23 Apr 2014 08:00 • Nick Gutteridge

Sex offender sent explicit messages

A REMORSELESS sex offender grinned at the mother of his 12-year-old victim before swaggering from court to start a three year jail sentence.


23 Apr 2014 06:30

Loddon Bridge Park and Ride closed over flood alert

LODDON Bridge Park and Ride has been closed due to a flood alert on the Lower River Loddon.


23 Apr 2014 06:30

Funding boost to help town get active

COUNCIL bosses have announced 11 good causes are set to receive a funding boost as part of a drive to promote sustainable transport across the borough.

Social: Comments0 comments

22 Apr 2014 17:00 • Nick Gutteridge

Candidates get ready for Reading Borough Council election

A BEAUTY queen and a charity fundraiser are among the new candidates joining the election race for seats on Reading Borough Council next month.


22 Apr 2014 16:00

Cash boost for better travel

COUNCIL bosses have announced 11 good causes are set to receive a funding boost as part of a drive to promote sustainable transport across the borough.

Social: Comments1 comment

22 Apr 2014 04:00 • Andrew Belt

Recycling egg boxes in Calcot

A SUPERMARKET is offering customers the chance to recycle Easter egg boxes.


21 Apr 2014 17:00 • James Ash

Good Ofsted mark for a Burghfield primary school

A BURGHFIELD primary school has set its sights on scoring top marks with an education watchdog after boosting its rating.

Social: Comments0 comments

18 Apr 2014 12:00 • James Ash

Burghfield Bowls Club unveils new playing green

THE sun was shining over Burghfield Bowls Club when its new playing green was unveiled.

Social: Comments0 comments

17 Apr 2014 14:00 • Andrew Belt

Shop worker hit round the head by masked robbers in daylight attack in Whitley

A SHOP worker was hit round the head and forced to open a till by masked robbers in a terrifying daylight attack in Whitley.

Social: Comments0 comments

16 Apr 2014 18:00

TRAFFIC UPDATE: Delays of around one hour on M4

ONE lane of the M4 has been closed due to an collision involving two cars.

Social: Comments1 comment

14 Apr 2014 09:30 • Nick Gutteridge

Thames Valley Police in top five forces for stress related absences

THAMES Valley Police is in the top five constabularies for stress related absences in England and Wales, a Freedom of Information request has revealed.

Social: Comments1 comment

14 Apr 2014 08:00 • Andrew Belt

Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading releases film to reassure young patients

AN INNOVATIVE film has been launched to reassure parents about their child’s operation.

Social: Comments0 comments

13 Apr 2014 17:00 • Andrew Belt

Flood victims across Berkshire and Reading back on track thanks to Berkshire Community Foundation

NEIGHBOURS, communities and businesses devastated by some of the worst-ever flooding to hit Berkshire can get their lives back on track with a £150,000 recovery pot.

Social: Comments0 comments

13 Apr 2014 12:00

Street renamed in honour of Reading's only Victoria Cross winner, Trooper Fred Potts

THE courage of Reading’s own war hero was commemorated on Saturday when a road was named after him. Members of Trooper Fred Potts’ family joined relatives of Arthur Andrews – the man he saved – to unveil the new Trooper Potts Way sign, by the Northern Interchange at Reading Station.


13 Apr 2014 08:00 • James Ash

Reading College students grill Reading East MP Rob Wilson on the big issues

ASPIRING broadcasters gave the Newsnight team a run for their money when they fired questions at Reading East MP Rob Wilson.


12 Apr 2014 17:30

Two-car smash on M4

FIREFIGHTERS were called out to a smash on the M4 this morning which injured three people.

Social: Comments0 comments