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Community raises nearly £5,000 for disabled pupil’s replacement wheelchair after original stolen

Michelle Frost, of Asda, Head Audrey Finch, Claire Hall with son James and Mark Jepson, of Havebury

Michelle Frost, of Asda, Head Audrey Finch, Claire Hall with son James and Mark Jepson, of Havebury

A community has rallied round to raise nearly £5,000 and counting towards a replacement specialist wheelchair for a severely disabled three-year-old boy after his original was stolen by thieves.

The sum was collected after the plight of James Hall, who has cerebral palsy, appeared in the Bury Free Press in November when thieves snatched his mum Claire’s car containing the chair from outside their Barrow home.

Riverwalk School, which James attends, quickly stepped in to buy a replacement using its emergency fund with Mrs Hall reliant on fund-raising to pay them back.

The Living by Giving Trust made £3,000, Asda, in Bury St Edmunds, managed £1,429.48 including £287 from a concert with the St Edmundsbury Male Voice Choir at the Christian Resource Centre and Havebury Housing Partnership donated £500. Further donations are expected.

The wheelchair cost £4,500 and excess money raised will go towards a hydrotherapy pool fund at Riverwalk.

Mrs Hall, who needs the wheelchair to be able to feed James properly when they are outside, said: “I’m overwhelmed - a lot of good has come out of an awful situation.” She thanked Riverwalk and all those who fund-raised.

Michelle Frost, who as community life champion at Asda organised activities such as face-painting and raffles, said: “It was very good that we could help.” Mark Jepson, communities manager at Havebury where staff held bingo, sold home-made cakes and wore Christmas jumpers, said after being approached by Asda, their annual Christmas activities seemed an ‘ideal opportunity’ to raise cash.

 

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