New chair for Dean as Longsands students raise �2,600

STUDENTS at Longsands Academy have raised �2,600 which will pay for a teenager’s wheelchair to enable him to play sports.

Dean Symmons, 16, said he had ordered a sports wheelchair, which he wants to help fulfil his dream of playing basketball in the Paralympic Games, less than two months after he started to collect funds for the chair.

He was presented with the cheque by Longsands executive principal Rob Whatmough in front of Years 7, 8 and 9 pupils who raised the money.

Dean said: “I thought I would only have enough money to buy the chair in the middle of the year but I’m overwhelmed by the support that I have received from loads of people, especially those who I don’t know.

“The children wanted to raise money for a St Neots charity and they said what better charity than my trust, which is amazing, There are Year 7 students who know nothing about me but they’re still prepared to raise money and that is special.”

With the money raised so far by Dean’s charity walk, a friend of his grandmother donating �1,000, and other donations, he was able to order the �2,300 chair and buy thicker wheels for his current chair to help keep him mobilised in the snow.

When Dean’s chair arrives –expected in the next 6-8 weeks – he intends to join a wheelchair basketball team in Cambridge.