Disabled St Neots teen in four-hour fundraising walk

Fundraising for his new wheelchair is Dean Symmons of St Neots, with dad Andy Symmons

Fundraising for his new wheelchair is Dean Symmons of St Neots, with dad Andy Symmons - Credit: Archant

A DISABLED teenager walked for almost FOUR HOURS to raise money for a new wheelchair that will give him greater independence.

Dean Symmons, 17, had not walked for almost two years after an accident in a school PE lesson damaged his spinal cord.

But took on a challenge to walk a mile – from Eaton Ford to the Bull’s Head, in Cambridge Street, St Neots – alongside friends and family on Saturday to raise money for a new wheelchair.

Fundraisers wearing fancy dress turned up to support Dean, making donations and taking part in a raffle later in the day.

Dean set off in the morning in callipers and was using a walking frame for support, but after more than three-and-half hours of exertion in the sun, his back and shoulders gave up on him having made it just over half way.

Nevertheless, about £2,000 was raised on the day which, adding to money already raised, is enough to pay for a lightweight wheelchair that will allow him to get in and out of his car and travel independently.

Dean, of Oliver Way, Loves Farm, St Neots, said: “I’m so excited to get in my new chair and I want to say a big thank you to everyone who came along or supported me in any way.

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“I’m a little disappointed I wasn’t able to go the whole mile but I had only walked 50 yards in a school hall before this, so it was still a massive achievement.

“I had to wheel myself the rest of the way and then I walked across the finish line. It was still a really good day, everyone made a great effort coming in fancy dress and coming to the disco and raffle at the Bull’s Head.”

Dean said that he will take a couple of months off from fundraising but is already thinking about his next challenge.

“I think I might try to do some kind of assault course out of my chair next.”