Sheffield boy writes over 200 letters to neighbours in bid to raise money for disabled family friend

An 11-year-old boy from Sheffield has written a letter to more than 200 neighbours asking them to help him raise money for his disabled family friend who also lives nearby.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 12 April, 2019, 16:03
Asher pictured with Phil and a copy of the letter he sent to neighbours (Photo: BBC Sheffield)

Asher Walton-Mitchell, of Meersbrook, wrote the letter in hopes of raising funds for his family friend and neighbour Phil Waterworth, who was diagnosed with Multiple Scleroris in 2010 and is in need of £15,000 for a stair lift to enable him to get about his three-storey house freely.

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

11-year-old Asher Walton-Mitchell who will be completing 50 karate kata's to raise funds for his neighbour

However, this makes navigating the small terraced house in the Meersbrook area which he shares with his wife and daughter, very difficult, meaning he has to go up the stairs on his bum.

Wanting to do all he could to help, Asher – a keen karate fan and member of a local club – decided to raise money by challenging himself to complete 50 patterns of movements called ‘karate kata’s’ in an hour.

He then wrote letters to all his neighbours asking them to support his fundraising effort by sponsoring him for the event later this month.

His original target of £250 was smashed within days of the letter reaching neighbours, with figures now surpassing a second target now reaching over £650.

Asher said: “The response has been amazing, I’m astonished. All from one letter”.

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Phil said he was ‘mind blown’ at the thought that an 11-year-old boy would carry out such a selfless act.

“It just blew me away that someone so young, having his own idea to do this, it just really touches me,” he said. “I'm a bit humbled to be honest.”

Asher’s mum Zoe Walton, 46, said: “The support Asher has received is absolutely phenomenal. I’m immensely proud of him.

“He thought that writing the letter would give more of a personal touch by delivering them around local communities and it is a great way to raise community spirit. It's amazing.

“He just wanted to do something that would help, something that would directly change Phil’s life and this stair lift will future proof his house and ensure he can get around easier.”

Asher is set to complete the karate kata challenge at Meersbrook United Reform Church on April 28.