Christmas comes early for Shane thanks to generous community

YOUNGSTER Shane Keating already has the Christmas present his mum and dad set their hearts on providing.

And thanks to an 11th hour funding boost the Keatings won’t need to scale back their festive celebrations.

Shane spends most of his life in a wheelchair due to muscle wasting Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Stuart Lomas, Steve Challinor, Shane, John and Gill Keating on the new access to the house

The Correspondent reported last month how a DIY SOS style project was transforming the back garden and access to the family home in Dorset Avenue to give the St Joseph’s School pupil greater freedom and a safe space to play.

A string of fundraising events at Higher Crompton Conservative Club enabled contractors to start work, much to the delight of Shane’s dad John.

“There was a lot of brick laying involved,” he said. “While I was happy to do it myself, I’m an electrician, not a brickie, and it would have taken me so much longer.

“Now the only bricks I’ll be seeing at Christmas are Lego bricks!”

What the family didn’t realise was despite more than £4,000 being raised throughout the year from a string of events, when the final bill landed, there was a four figure shortfall.

“The last thing John and Gill needed after all they had been through was more stress,” said Stuart Lomas, a Con Club committee member.

Stuart Lomas, Steve Challinor, Shane, John and Gill Keating in the back garden

So, Stuart and Con Club steward Les Whittle got their heads together and drew up Plan B.

“We couldn’t leave it that only 75 per cent was paid for,” said Les.

“Fortunately the Club had allowed me and Stuart to organise a charity bottle to provide for local good causes.

“And there was also money raised from a sportsman’s dinner. So, we were able to make up the deficit and ensure the bill was paid.”

In total, Stuart, Les and the generosity of locals helped raise £6,340 to ensure Latics fan Shane can enjoy the hard work of everyone’s labours.

“We can’t thank everyone enough for all their efforts,” said mum Gill.

“Their support has been amazing and Shane appreciates it as much as we do.”


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