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Friday, 29 August 2014

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Barrow family are overwhelmed by community’s response

HE has been inspiring a community since the day he was born.

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HEALTH BATTLE: Harrison Holmes, who has cerebral palsy, meeting with Dragons Den star Duncan Bannatyne at Sandside Lodge School, in Ulverston, in 2009

Now the family of Harrison Holmes has once again been overwhelmed by the support of the Barrow people.

The 11-year-old’s mum put out an urgent appeal after her son’s beloved bike was stolen from their home.

The £650 trike-style BMX bike had to be specially-made for Harrison, who has cerebral palsy, and was bought as a one-off Christmas gift last year.

Since discovering the bike was missing, his family have been inundated with offers of help via Facebook.

With the hope of finding it fading, Harrison’s cousin, Lynsey Johnson, is organising the fundraising drive for a replacement.

The 26-year-old, of Barnard Street, Barrow, said: “It’s devastating, because that bike is an absolute necessity for him.

“He doesn’t really like to go in his wheelchair, and he can’t walk long distances. The bike gave him independence. It’s really upset and confused him.”

Harrison also used his bike to help with his physiotherapy after several major operations on his legs.

Over the weekend, £155 of donations were dropped off at the Tally Ho pub, including a £100 cheque from generous stranger, Mark Hetherington.

A gig will be held at the Tally Ho on December 22, with Bad Transmission, Damo Rose, Deadman’s Tequila and State of Reality among the local acts who have already offered their services. Barrow magician Joel Dickinson is also to auction one of his performances on his Facebook page.

Any excess money made will pay for a walker for one of Harrison’s friends, who also has special needs.

Miss Johnson said: “It’s still in the back of our minds that someone might see it and return it, or the person who took it, realising it’s a special needs bike, might get a bit of a conscience and take it back.

“We just want to get a real push going now, get the money together and get it ordered. To see his little face on Christmas day when he realises he’s got his bike back would just be amazing.”

Anyone who wants to make a donation can drop them off FAO Lynsey Johnson at the Evening Mail office in Abbey Road, Barrow, or at Carefree Travel in Foundry Street, Barrow.

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