They’re off! A Hampshire family have set off on the trans-Atlantic trip they hope will change their daughter’s life.

Neighbours, relatives, well-wishers and financial contributors have rallied support for Jo and Andrew Syvret in their bid to raise £90,000 for six-year-old Jemima’s operation in the USA on Tuesday.

This weekend family and friend of the family, from Otterbourne, gathered to wave them off.

Jemima was born with quadriplegia, a form of cerebral palsy, and is to undergo a selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) at the St Louis Children’s Hospital in Missouri. The operation, that with physical rehabilitation, could see her eventually walk unaided.

Her condition means that she was not eligible to have the operation in the UK.

The family have been overwhelmed with generosity from their community. There has been a fundraising children’s tea party, a car has been donated ready for auction and even a skip – the gag at blind auction – which was donated by the Raymond Brown Group and managed to rake in £4,000.

Mark Isaac, managing director at Raymond Brown Aggregates in Nursling, said: “I was delighted with the success at the auction. Raymond Brown are thrilled to have been able to help raise so much money for Jemima and help her on her journey.”

And the generosity hasn’t stopped yet.

Former Otter-bourne residents, Tony Taylor and his sons Stuart and Glen, are organising Another Night of Soul at Otterbourne Village Hall on Saturday, April 5.

Mr Taylor said: “I first met Jemima and her wonderful family just before Christmas and one couldn’t fail to be impressed. She is an absolutely gorgeous little girl and just wants to do all ||the usual things that a six-year-old child would expect to do. Jemima has a fantastic sense of humour and her journey will continue for a couple of years after her surgery when she will need intensive physiotherapy.

“The people of Otterbourne have already been very supportive of Jemima’s journey and it looks as though the |Soul Evening will be a sell out.

“It is incredibly fitting that the last fundraising event of Jemima’s incredible journey is taking place, here in Otterbourne.”