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Public talking with cash gifts

PUBLISHED: 15:24 17 July 2008 | UPDATED: 11:24 03 July 2010

CASH has been pouring in from kind hearts towards a fundraising campaign to give a disabled man the power of speech.

Generous people in Great Yarmouth have been touched by the plight of Cerebral Palsy sufferer Keith Ferridge who has struggled throughout his life to communicate.

CASH has been pouring in from kind hearts towards a fundraising campaign to give a disabled man the power of speech.

Generous people in Great Yarmouth have been touched by the plight of Cerebral Palsy sufferer Keith Ferridge who has struggled throughout his life to communicate.

So far £3,441 has been raised to provide an electronic communication device for Keith and further pledges have put the £6,000 target within sight.

A well known character locally, he has attended Centre 81, a day centre for people with disabilities, for the last 24 years. Keith is a keen sailor, bowls, chess and cards player and also enjoys watching karate films.

Nikki Pitts of Centre 81, who has been organising the appeal, said: “This equipment would make a massive difference, as the muscles in Keith's voice box are deteriorating and his voice is getting worse “There is no funding out there for this sort of equipment which will be real lifeline for him.

“Keith is very well liked because he never lets his illness get him down and prefers to think of others instead.”

“It is very heartening that so many people have donated money, one lady even gave £50 she was given to buy flowers for her husband's funeral.”

“There are several types of communication devices available and we will need to decide which is most suitable for him.”

The People in Need Services charity shop in Northgate Street has pledged to donate £1,000 and the North Sea Petroleum Golf Association £2,000.

More money is also in the pipeline from a sponsored wheelchair ride along Yarmouth seafront this summer.

A bucket collection at Iceland in Market Gates shopping centre raised £250 and further donations have been made from the Magdalen Estate video shop, Country and Western Community Singers and the Friends of Children with Disabilities.

Keith's friend Tony Pritchard, who lost 17lb in a sponsored slim which raised £400, said: “Keith just likes to be treated like a normal person and loves a chat and a gossip. I see him a couple of times a week and we always take the mickey out of each other.”

A special presentation ceremony is planned at Centre 81 to present Keith with his communication device after the fundraising total has been reached.

Mum June said: “It is wonderful that people are rallying around there has been a very good response since the story was featured in the Mercury."

Anyone wanting to contribute to the appeal should call Nikki Pitts at Centre 81 on 01493 852573.

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