A BURTON teenager has been handed a boost after being presented with a wheelchair which will enable him to begin life at college.
Eighteen-year-old Shaun Waters, from Winshill, suffers from cerebral palsy, meaning he is unable to move on his own, but thanks to the fund-raising efforts of Midland Co-operative his time at college is set to be made a lot easier.
Shaun has secured a place at a college in Lancaster, where he is to study theatre and the arts, and a new £5,000 wheelchair will allow him to live more independently as well as join in with activities with his fellow students.
Shaun has become the latest beneficiary of a fund-raising project which has seen Midland Co-operative team up with the Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children, a group which supports people with disabilities across Staffordshire.
Various fund-raising activities and challenges carried out on behalf of the group have raised more than £86,000 for disabled children in the county to date.
One worker who has lent his support is the firm’s head of transport Matthew Ward, from Swadlincote, who is set to run in the London Marathon in April, setting himself the challenge of raising £7,500 for Newlife.
He said: “I have young children of my own and I value my time with them. Supporting Newlife is all about helping to put a smile on the faces of other children.
“While I am a keen runner I have never attempted anything more than a 10k event; it will be the thought of the children that keeps me going at the 20-mile mark of the marathon.”
For Shaun, the state-of-the-art wheelchair is set to make a big difference to his life.
His mother Debra said: “The new wheelchair will enable Shaun to do more for himself and the high-low facility will enable him to interact with people and activities on multiple levels, which will be particularly important when he starts his residential college course later this year. It will make a huge difference to Shaun’s life.”