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Crawley man’s mission to stand

The Goode family are over two thirds of the way towards raising funds for something life-changing.

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A Crawley family are raising funds for Martin Goode, a dad who hasn’t been able to stand in 5 years because of multiple sclerosis (MS).

The Goode family are over two-thirds of the way towards raising the £12,000 needed to purchase a standing wheelchair.

More news: Three men arrested on suspicion of attempted murder following Crawley Boulevard stabbing

Martin’s daughter, Natalie said: “He hasn’t been able to stand up for 5 years, with this he can see the world from his 6ft4 height and have the freedom to essentially walk around!”

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease which affects the nervous system. It creates problems with balance, mobility, fine motor skills, speech, eating, breathing, and problems carrying out normal day to day activities and independence.

Martin has had MS for 11 years, but in recent years has been confined to a wheelchair permanently. He now needs manual handling and hoisting just to get out of bed or into a chair etc. This has a huge impact on his freedom and independence.

Natalie said:

“We only started fundraising a week ago and the support from the local community as well as friends and family has been incredible.

“My dad grew up in Croydon & now lives in Crawley. He has done a lot for the community in Crawley, such as being chairman of the MS society Crawley branch, being involved in the councils town access group, and the treasurer of “Openfields” – a disability social group in Crawley.

“People from Crawley and further out have clubbed together to help out, including a bake sale in Langley green, Crawley on Saturday just gone.”

Natalie says the chair will mean huge changes. Martin will be able to stand up and talk to people at eye level. “He can drive the chair whilst standing and essentially walk,” says Natalie.

“In his current chair he can’t reach anything at home and can really only access the lounge and his bedroom; when we are all out at work he is stuck in the same place in the house all day.

“In this standing chair he can go to the kitchen, make himself food, go to any room in the house. When out he can stand up and have a beer with his pals, see above people’s heads (he is tall as I said). He can stand up and cheer for the Arsenal at the emirates. He could walk me down the aisle on my (hypothetical future…) wedding day!”

The standing chair also has a lying down function. This would allow Martin to lie down whenever he wants without having to wait to be hoisted into bed, or sleeping uncomfortably in a seated position.

Natalie added:

“The health benefits will be huge! Problems around breathing, eating, talking, even fine motor skills all come from being sat at a 90 degree angle all the time with no circulation going through his body. When Dad tried out this new chair, he said he could feel his legs stretching! He normally can’t feel his legs. It’s just incredible!”

If you want to support the Goode family’s cause, go to the JustGiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/martingoodestandup

You can also check out the dedicated Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/martingoodestandup

Education

Crawley school students launch petition for change as funding cuts threaten their education

The change.org petition has been launched by some students at Thomas Bennett Community College and already has over 200 signatures.

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The school has been in the news over the past few months due to the funding cuts by TKAT.

With teachers leaving the school and residents community meetings being held with councillors it has been and continues to be a turbulent time for all associated with the school.

Now some students have taken it upon themselves to launch their own petition aimed it seems at changing the school for the better.

The students say:

“We are Students that are currently attending Thomas Bennett. We are undertaking our GCSE’s and are month’s away from exams. With limited welfare support throughout the school, such as a medical room assistant or a pastoral support assistant for each year we are struggling tremendously with the way the school is run due to low funding.”

The student who has launched the petition also mentions how he emailed the CEO of TKAT raising his concerns but was told it ‘wasn’t in their hands and overall should stop talking about it’.

Whilst the petition does not mention it there is a feel that the aim is to bring the school back into public sector as stated by Crawley Council leader Peter Lamb who has show his support of the petition.

The petition states:

“Over the years Thomas Bennett has struggled with funding, only to which this struggle became increasingly more difficult when the academy, TKAT, took over our school. Profit not students success is what this academies aim is and large group of students including me are ready to do whatever needs to happen for something to change! Whether that’s a whole year walkout or a strike with the whole school. “

It adds:

“A walk out is something TKAT does not want to face especially with media coverage and limited time for year elevens, a whole year will not just get bad qualifications with missed time but will also reflect on the education that is being provided for students by this school run by the academy.”

The very fact that students themselves have now made the decision to make a stand shows how passionately the pupils feels about their educational needs but a viable outcome still seems distant.

A spokesperson from the Kemnal Academies Trust commented,

“We welcome our students’ active involvement in their education and the Trust has been working directly with the students at Thomas Bennett.

Funding is a national issue for Education affecting all schools, with the West Sussex “worth it” movement taking a leading part in the campaign to improve funding for all schools”.

The petition can be read here.

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