Worthing mum is fundraising for son's essential new wheelchair

A Worthing mum, who set up a JustGiving page to raise money to buy her son a wheelchair, is thanking people who have donated so far with a series of volunteering challenges.

Dan and Penny Southall
Dan and Penny Southall

Penny Southall has been hard at work in raising money for her son, Dan, who has long outgrown his current specialist power chair which he needs to get around. The cost of the chair is over £24,000.

After applying to 16 charities for grants and funding for the new chair, Penny still needed to raise money for the chair.

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Unfortunately, the NHS and Wheelchair Services do not provide funding for this type of chair, which is essential for Dan.

It allows him to lie down for physio and adjust the seat to accommodate his disability.

Dan has also had long term spinal problems and the new chair means he could avoid invasive spinal surgery.

Dan, who is a Year 12 student at Worthing College is ambitious about a career in the charity sector.

Having just sat his AS Levels in Geography and Chemistry along with a BTEC in applied science, he has already volunteered at the Independent Lives charity which delivers services to help disabled people live independently.

Penny’s first volunteering effort was at the Worthing 10k on Sunday 4th June, where she gave out water and cheered on runners as they made their way around the course.

Later on she will be working a shift at the GuildCare shop on North Street to help with customers and the running of the shop.

She is pledging an amazing 40 hours of her time as a gesture of thanks to all the people and organisations that helped Dan.

Dan, who enjoys Xbox and the cinema, said: “I’m really excited about getting a new power chair. It’s going to make my life much easier and I’m really grateful for all the support from the charities and people who donated on my JustGiving page.”

The JustGiving page has also attracted two separate surprise anonymous donations of £500.

Penny, who works for the RSPCA in Worthing, said: “I am overwhelmed by the generosity of the anonymous donors. I have no idea who gave the money – but I would really like them to contact me so I can thank them.”

She added: “This wheelchair will allow Daniel a great level of independence, and it’s a great reassurance that help is available both from charitable organisations and the community who donated to our crowdfunding page.”

At the time of writing the JustGiving page had reached £1,975 of its original £1,500 target.

To support the appeal, visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/penny-southall.

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