June 2016: Wheelchair appeal to get Sam moving


AN APPEAL is being launched to get a student a special mountain trike wheelchair so he can be more independent.

Sam Ainsworth is 15 and in September will be in his final GCSE year.

Haslingden High School’s Learning Support Faculty has set a goal of raising £4,750 to buy the trike by April 8 2017 when Sam will be 16.

Sam has Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease, an inherited muscle-wasting condition, which affects the motor and sensory nervous system

His feet were pointing outwards and surgeons took bone from his hip to straighten his foot, however he has also now developed a condition that affects his hands making writing difficult sometimes and he now requires regular infusions to stop his immune system attacking itself.

Sam, from Bacup, said: “I have a voice activated iPad and laptop that I use to help with school work and around school I use an electric wheelchair that I leave in school.

MT outdoors 2“I don’t think my feet will get any worse but they say my hands will and I wanted to be an auto-electrician and work with my dad but that won’t be able to happen.

“The most frustrating think is being in a wheelchair and not being able to do things for myself. Not being independent and being able to go out when I want to and not even being able to walk my dog.”

The Learning Support Faculty introduced the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme for students and to help Sam complete expeditions a special wheelchair has been borrowed from Lancashire County Council outdoor pursuits centre Hothersall Lodge in Ribchester.

Mountain TrikeTeaching Assistant Lee Trickett said: “Sam can’t push this chair himself, so he needs to have someone to help him.

“We want him to be able to become more independent so that he can do what he wants to do when he wants to do it and that is why we have set up the appeal.

“The trike we are looking at getting will be a bespoke off road wheelchair that Sam can move and steer by pulling and pushing a lever.”

When Haslingden High School holds its annual charity day on July 19, Sam will be having a stall to sell camp food and the proceeds will go towards the appeal.

Along with six other students from the Learning Support Faculty, Sam has completed a practice walk and expedition towards his Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award and will complete his qualifying expedition in July.

Curriculum Leader for Learning Support Sarah Duplain said: “Last year was the first time we introduced the scheme to the faculty and we had six complete their Bronze; we will have seven more complete it this year.”

An online fundraising page has been launched on justgiving.com and every £10 donated will earn a free raffle ticket for a prize draw Sam is organising. https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/Samsmountaintrike?utm_id=106&utm_term=3JP29EZBj

Sam will be running assemblies and talking to staff to explain why he needs the specialist chair.