A KIND-HEARTED York boy will mark his 11th birthday by raising money to help fund a ground-breaking leisure and training centre for youngsters with disabilities.

James Hall who has autism has invited dozens of disabled children to his party on Sunday, at which a raffle will boost a £50,000 appeal to fund a state-of-the-art facility called Stimul8.

Up to 40 children and their parents have been invited to the celebration at Haxby Memorial Hall, which will feature a DJ, disco and karaoke, said his mother Amy.

The 34-year-old, from Haxby, said James who attends Hob Moor Oaks School had the idea last year.

“They must have been doing a project at school about bullying and he said ‘why do some disabled children not get invited to birthday parties and some children get bullied?’ I thought ‘let’s put some planning into it and hold a party’.”

They extended the invitation to members of York Inspirational Kids, including families they have never met.

“It is about raising awareness of kindness and how doing something like this can mean such a lot for a family," she said.

Amy said any funds raised by the raffle would help towards Stimul8, which she hoped would “make a network for the kids and adults”, and enable children like James learn life skills.

News of the party comes as it emerged that the Stimul8 appeal has also just received a £7,000 boost in the form of an anonymous donation, leaving appeal organisers ‘shocked and overwhelmed'.

The Press reported last month how Ruth Thompson and Jo Rodwell, both from Poppleton, needed £50,000 to start construction work on a purpose-built venue for disabled children and young people, which would be a first for the UK.

They said Stimul8 would be a place where children with disability could come to play, learn and meet others, and offer nursery places for complex needs children. It would be a fully-adapted leisure facility and an NVQ centre, able to offer work placements and apprenticeships for disabled children.

Mrs Thompson said yesterday she was shocked when someone who had a relative with a disability made the £7,000 donation. “We were absolutely overwhelmed,” she said.

She said £25,000 had already been in the bag when the appeal was launched and two big fundraising events were now being planned in a bid to take the total to £50,000 by Easter.

The first is a fashion show at 2.30pm on Saturday, March 30 at the Grand Opera House, at which the clothes would be modelled by 65 children with a range of disabilities including physical, learning and autistic spectrum disabilities, with tickets available from the theatre box office.

The second event is a ‘bunny dash,’at 10am on Easter Monday, April 22, at York Sports Village, with bunny ears issued to each runner. For tickets, go to www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/stimul8-bunny-dash-tickets-56562286321