A schoolgirl, who has cerebral palsy, has achieved remarkable results after taking part in a pioneering course of treatment.

Eight-year-old Shanice Ward dreams of being able to walk unaided and spent the last month having intensive physiotherapy at a centre in Bedfordshire to help her achieve her goal.

The £4,000 cost of the treatment at the Cerebral Palsy Physiotherapy Centre, and the cost of travelling, was raised by her family and friends in Bradford who want to give Shanice the best chance of living an independent life.

Now the pupil at St John's Primary School, Beacon Road, is on the way to achieving her dream after working hard for four weeks and making the most of the treatment on offer.

Mandy McArdle, 35, the daughter of Shanice's legal guardian Mary McArdle, 65, both of Frimley Drive, Little Horton, said: "The therapy was fantastic.

"She has improved so much and if she continues doing exercises at home they have said she will walk.

"It will be a long process, but she will walk."

At the moment Shanice uses a wheelchair and a walker to get about and relies on Miss McArdle to lift her in certain situations.

Since the four-week intensive treatment, however, she can walk with sticks, stand up straight with support and has even ridden her tricycle for the first time.

She can also get out of her wheelchair and walk up steps into her house with help. Previously she had to be carried into the house.

Miss McArdle said: "Her carer at school has also noticed she is doing more things for herself.

"I really can't praise the centre enough. It went so well we have booked Shanice in for more treatment next year, two weeks in May and two in July to coincide with the school holidays.

"It is not a miracle cure, but we just want to get her muscles into the best condition we can."

To help pay for future treatment Miss McArdle is looking into setting up a registered charity.

The centre in Bedfordshire is the first of its kind to open in the UK and was founded by Sally Aspinall, whose daughter Lucy has cerebral palsy.

She spent years researching different forms of therapy and has combined the best of what she found and brought it together with a team of therapists.

Cerebral palsy is not a particular disease or illness, the term means a physical condition that affects movement as a result of an injury to the brain.

Common problems include using and controlling muscles which causes difficulty walking, problems with balance and co-ordination, difficulty in controlling and maintaining posture and learning disabilities.

For more information about the centre visit www.cppcltd.co.uk e-mail: claire.lomax@bradford.newsquest.co.uk