MP’s bike boost for twins

Left, Andrew Dawkins and MP Mark Spencer.
Left, Andrew Dawkins and MP Mark Spencer.

Sherwood MP Mark Spencer presented the dad of Hucknall twins hit by a rare illness with a cheque for £1,200 following a sponsored bike ride in September.

Dad Andrew Dawkins is the founder of the Battle Batten charity and father to Freddie and Louie, the only identical twins in the world with Batten Disease.

Although the twins were born healthy in 2005, they are now autistic, blind and epileptic. Andrew and Sarah Finney have already raised a staggering £80,000 in just 18 months, to become the first UK family to privately commission research into CLN5, the type of Batten disease affecting the boys.

Mr Spencer said: “I’m obviously thrilled that I’ve been able to help in some small way to put some money behind what is a staggering campaign. To raise over £80,000 in less than two years is incredible for one family to achieve and I’m so pleased to be able to support them and the research that they fund.

“I know Andy has more fundraising plans to help them hit £100,000.”

Mr Spencer volunteered to ride alongside Andrew in a bid to raise cash and awareness of the rare condition, for which there is no cure.

With a team of friends and volunteers they cycled the entire 56 mile border of his Sherwood constituency in September to ‘Battle Batten’.

Mr Spencer added: “The ride was tough but I really enjoyed it actually, apart from the homeward stretch which was all uphill, and it goes to such a great local cause supporting Freddie and Louie.”

You can find out more about the disease and the campaign at

Freddie and Louie celebrated their tenth birthday on Saturday September 19 with a party at which musician Connor Spray performed.

Mum Sarah said: “It was a delight to watch as Freddie and Louie rocked and banged to the music from Wonderwall to original tracks written by Connor himself.

“Music has been the absolute stimulator for both Freddie and Louie since they lost their sight seven years ago. We do everything to introduce Freddie and Louie to music throughout their life so to have a personal rendition in our own living room on their tenth birthday means everything to us.”