Racing for wheelie good cause

Shaun Elsey in training for the Spartan Race
Shaun Elsey in training for the Spartan Race

Wisbech man Shaun Elsey is set to take on the challenge of a Spartan race next month to raise cash for a newly established charity aimed at helping a local disabled man.

Robert Smith Fundraising has been set up by sisters Margaret Green and Barbara Elsey with the initial aim of raising around £8,000 to buy a customised motorised wheelchair for 24-year-old Robert Smith.

Robert, who suffers from Proteus Syndrome, is over 7ft tall and weighs around 19 stone. Two bouts of meningitis have left him unable to walk, partially sighted which together with his other medical problems means he is basically bedridden and totally dependent on his doting mum Rita.

He has been stuck in bed at his Walsoken home for the past 18 months, with a trip earlier this year organised by the Citizen to see his favourite WWE wrestling his only outing in that time.

His large frame makes pushing a wheelchair impossible for Rita, which is why the sisters are trying to raise the money to buy a motorised one.

“A motorised wheelchair will enable Rita to take Robert out and about for walks, which will dramatically improve his quality of life. Unfortunately the NHS only provides a basic wheelchair, which is understandable because the of the cost, but is not suitable because of Robert’s size,” said Barbara.

Shaun’s tackling of the Spartan race - a 5km course featuring a host of obstacles including mud and high walls - on September 1 at Carver Barracks near Cambridge is the latest fundraiser.

He will be competing in the elite athletes heat and will face crawling through mud and climbing ropes to test his fitness and endurance to the limits.

A sponsor form is available at the Citizen office in Union Street or you can sponsor Shaun by calling him direct on 077540654620.

In the meantime Margaret and Barbara, who have already hosted a coffee morning which raised over £350 in just three hours, are now planning a bric-a-brac and cake stall for Saturday (August 31) at the Trinity Methodist Church in Church Terrace, Wisbech.

The event runs from 10am to 2pm and the pair would be grateful of donations of items or cakes to sell.

Items can be donated by calling Barbara on 01945 588214 or Margaret on 01945-584311, or they can be dropped off at the Citizen office.

Donations can be made directly to the charity’s account at the Natwest Bank: Account number 89560027 sort code: 55-81-28 (account name Robert Smith Fundraising).