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Garden appeal will help keep disabled Chatteris man pedalling




Friends and family of a disabled Chatteris man are aiming to raise around £6,000 to enable him to enjoy his garden.

An appeal has been launched to enable Damian Graves to ride his bike in his garden. (7251200)
An appeal has been launched to enable Damian Graves to ride his bike in his garden. (7251200)

Damian Graves is 25 but has many disabilities including cerebral palsy, autism, he is registered blind and also has hydrocephalus as well as learning difficulties. As a result he has the mental age of a six-year-old and loves nothing better than riding his specialist bike.

However, the tarmac area that was laid at the family home 12 to 15 years ago has cracked and sunk making it uneven and dangerous for Damian to use.

His mum Carol explained: "Although he is registered blind he can get about if he knows where everything is. He knows the tarmac area is a bit sunken but he sometimes forgets and then he lands up falling off his bike.

Special pens have been made for the appeal and are for sale via Facebook at £1 each. (7251202)
Special pens have been made for the appeal and are for sale via Facebook at £1 each. (7251202)

"The last time it happened he got stuck under the bike and I had to shout for help to get him up and that really knocked his confidence. Since then he has refused to go out and he spent all last summer indoors rather than enjoying the sunshine."

Damian's Garden appeal was initially launched last summer but was put on hold for a few months to enable his former Meadowgate school mate Wills Storey to achieve his dream of having a new wheelchair.

Carol said: "We decided to let Wills have a chance to raise what he needed first and we offered his mum Kay and his supporters what help we could. Wills has now got his wheelchair and he has now offered his support for Damian.

"In fact he has already given money left-over from his Wills Wheels appeal to help Damian, when he presented it to me it made me cry, because it was such a lovely gesture.

"We hope to raise around £6,000, which will provide a tarmac area and also a quiet place for Damian to sit and eat outside. We have already had a couple of fundraising events and we have more in the pipeline."

Donations can be made through the Damian's Garden Facebook page, collecting tins will be in local businesses including Storey's in March, and Bridget Knowles who is helping with the appeal can also receive donations via Paypal, contact 07985127859.

There is a Gofundme page too, but they are trying to avoid using it to save losing a percentage of the money raised to Gofundme.



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