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Despite living with Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia, Steven from Marnhull, Dorset, has been able to regain independence outdoors and re-live his passion for the countryside and point-to-point horseracing, thanks to a community-donated TGA Breeze mobility scooter with off-road capabilities. Before his condition became too severe, Steven owned a successful equestrian transportation business that fulfilled his love of the outdoors. Following the reluctant sale of his business, Steven was forced to spend considerably more time indoors with restrictions on his outdoor independence – this has just changed thanks to the support of his local community.
Instigated by the HSP Support Group and its relationship with The Old Thatch pub near Wimborne, donations have been raised to purchase a new, state-of-the-art TGA mobility scooter so Steven can once again access the countryside. Customers and staff at The Old Thatch pub have worked together to raise funds to purchase the new scooter. This is the same type of scooter that won the Top Gear extreme mobility scooter challenge, which was broadcast on BBC2. Steven will now be able to tackle local rural tracks and fields on his TGA scooter as it has an 8mph top speed, wide high-grip tyres and extra power and performance. Owning this Breeze has only been made possible by several fundraising activities since July. Donations have been gathered from a sponsored skydive by four members of pub staff and relatives, collection tins, live music, BBQ’s and car washing at The Old Thatch. These funds were dramatically increased when, in support of a local resident in need, the Sturminster Newton Round Table made a generous donation.
Jason bought his girlfriend Gemma a skydiving experience and the HSP Support Group are now well over £1500 richer as a consequence. Let me explain:
I got to know the Roberts family some time ago when our daughters all attended the same school. Sarah and Pete Roberts are mum and dad; Gemma and Tanya are their daughters, both of whom work behind the bar at the local pub which is called The Old Thatch, located between Ferndown and Wimborne in Dorset. When Gemma discovered she had a skydive to look forward to, the other girls in the family, Sarah and Tanya thought they’d like a piece of the action so they also signed up for the jump. During discussions the girls decided that they wanted to raise money for a good cause and Sarah contacted me to see if I knew of any worthwhile, deserving charities. The rest is history!
Staff at The Old Thatch have been brilliant and offered their full support. They have HSP collection boxes behind the bar and they recently held a BBQ with live music to raise further funds. Carol Parsons, another of the bar staff from the pub decided that she’d also like to jump and she has been busy gaining sponsorship. All the girls who are jumping have pages on JustGiving. Further discussions took place between the Roberts family and the pub management and they agreed that they’d like to support a Dorset resident affected with HSP. They’re hoping to purchase mobility equipment that could have a big positive impact on a local individual’s quality of life. Consequently I’ve written to all Dorset members explaining the fundraising and I’ve invited them to make me aware of any equipment that may be useful.