Standing up is the best present for Telscombe teenager

New wheelchair for Leisha by Ellie Hoad
New wheelchair for Leisha by Ellie Hoad

A teenager will get the best Christmas gift of all this year after £21,000 was successfully raised to buy her a wheelchair - which will enable her to stand up for the first time.

Leisha Lamberth, 13, has cerebral palsy and needed a new wheelchair to help her take part in school activities and become more independent.

Telscombe Mayor Cllr Wayne Botting took just 13 weeks to raise the sum needed and on Saturday (December 20) Leisha got her wish, and the wheelchair was presented to her.

Leisha’s family said the wheelchair will change her life for the better.

Step-dad Daniel Moon said: “Leisha is an outgoing child held back by a disability, she has an ambition to become a teacher in the future. The power chair will allow her to interact with other people at their level as the chair can be used in a standing position.

“Leisha will be more independent, being able to carry out those tasks we take for granted - hanging up her coat on her peg, picking the dropped pen from the floor.”

The wheelchair was presented to Leisha at Telscombe Civic Centre by Mayor Cllr Botting.

Mr Moon continued: “Mayor Botting has given up so much time and energy raising funds for this to happen in such a small time with only the local community and small businesses supporting this cause.”

The campaign Stand up for Leisha saw a number of fundraising events take place.

This included a sponsored walk from Seaford to Telscombe.

Cllr Botting said: “It was my ambition to change at least one person’s life for the better; Leisha’s cause fitted the bill and there should be no price too high for happiness and independence.”

At the presentation Cllr Botting presented the wheelchair as a gift wrapped Christmas present.

He said: “The smile on her face couldn’t have been any bigger when she realised it was her wish come true. Leisha was then asked to stand up for herself in her new wheelchair. Not a dry eye in the room whilst Leisha delivered her thank you speech and was able to give her mother a cuddle for the first time whilst standing on her own.”
Leisha then presented the Mayor with a Hero Trophy. He said: “I would like to thank on behalf of myself and Telscombe Town Council, our amazing community and local charitable groups for the help, love and support shown towards this local child. This will be the first of many [Christmases] for Leisha now she has the chance to become more independent and can finally stand up for herself.”