A FUNDRAISING campaign has been launched to ensure a Newmills farmer has the wheels he needs to do his job.
Born with Cerebral Palsy, Jonathan loves helping out at the farm thanks to his specialised wheelchair which has given him the freedom to move around the fields and spend time in the company of the animals on the farm.
However, the wheelchair, which he has had for 17 years, is no longer fit for purpose. Unfortunately, as Jonathan’s only means of independent mobility the lack of wheelchair means he is now housebound and feeling isolated and frustrated.
“His passion is farming,” said Jonathan’s sister Glenda.
“As a family we have always tried to make farming as accessible to him as possible. And there have been very many weird and wonderful inventions along the way!
“A vital part of this has been to source outdoor power wheelchairs that allow Jonathan to safely access anywhere on the farm that he wanted and needed to go.
“Jonathan loves to get involved and he loves to help, he gets so much satisfaction from feeling useful. Being a part of the family farm means the world to him.
“They no longer make this model and it is not possible to get the parts needed to repair it. Sourcing a new outdoor ‘All Terrain’ power wheelchair to meet Jonathan’s specific needs is the only way forward.”
A new wheelchair for Jonathan will cost £18,000.
“We hate to have to ask for help but as a family we just can’t fund this on our own. As Jonathan doesn’t have his own voice, we are asking for your help on his behalf,” said Glenda.
“Jonathan needs 24 hour care. He cannot speak but his understanding is perfect. He communicates with eye pointing and ‘yes/no’ questions and answers. The health service provide a power chair for use around the home but not the type of outdoor chair that would allow Jonathan safe access to the farm.”
After 15 days of fundraising a total of £2,775 has already been raised.
Jonathan’s brother, Timmy, is also undertaking “A Jump for Jonathan’ along with cousin Philip and six colleagues from Mallaghan GSC on 20th July, and sponsor sheets are available from the family and from local businesses.
Jonathan’s sister Sharon said its been a real team effort to try and get Jonathan his dream wheels and get him back on the farm, and wanted to thank everyone who has helped thus far.
“On behalf of Jonathan and all the family, can you please say a huge thank you to everyone who has donated this far and to all the local businesses who are keeping sponsor sheets on their premises for the parachute jump,” Sharon told the Courier.
“We have been overwhelmed by people's generosity, interest and encouragement, it's been amazing.”
Donations can also be made online at www.gofundme.com/Get-Jonathan-Turtle-his-d
ream-wheels or contact the family directly by e-mailing email@example.com.
Alternatively, you can can donate on paypal: Jtdreamwheels@hotmail.com; or contact Sharon on 07931553325.