Sheffield boy raises over £1,400 towards stair lift for disabled neighbour

A Sheffield boy has raised over £1,400 in a bid to buy a stair lift for his disabled neighbour.

Wednesday, 1st May 2019, 1:42 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st May 2019, 1:45 pm
Asher and Phil at the karate kata challenge

Asher Walton-Mitchell, of Meersbrook, completed 50 karate patterns or movement – called karate kata's – in just under an hour as part of a challenge to raise money for family friend Phil Waterworth who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2010.

The 11-year-old decided to take on the challenge to help Phil after discovering he needed to raise £15,000 for a stair lift which would enable him to get about his three-storey house freely. 

Asher before the challenge

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Phil, aged 43 was once an avid runner but was forced to give up teaching five years ago and now uses a wheelchair all the time.

However, this makes navigating his small terraced house very difficult – meaning he has to heave himself up the stairs while sitting down.

Wanting to do all he could to help, Asher – a keen karate fan and member of a local club – took it upon himself to raise money and asked his neighbours for them support by sponsoring him. 

Asher managed to raise over 1,400 for Phil

He posted letters to his neighbours and was astonished after exceeded his original target of £250 within days of the letters reaching those nearby.

Asher completed the challenge at Meersbrook United Reform Church on April 28, watched on by both Phil and his wife who were there to encourage him along the way. 

Asher and Phil

Speaking after the event, Asher's mum Zoe Walton, 46, said: “I’m totally proud of him and pleased for him. It has been a long journey, from thinking of the idea, to posting the leaflets and booking the venue then the relief of finishing the challenge. 

“He knew it would be tough. People have so generously donated, it has been overwhelming and I know that Phil has found it so humbling. It restores your faith in humanity.”

For now Asher, who also managed to raise around £1,100 for Sheffield Children’s Hospital last year, has decided to take a rest from fundraising but will presenting Phil with a cheque for the money raised at another fundraising event on May 4.