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Hope for disabled man

PUBLISHED: 17:19 15 May 2008 | UPDATED: 11:04 03 July 2010

HOPE: Keith Ferridge

HOPE: Keith Ferridge

A disabled man who has spent his whole life struggling to communicate is finally hoping to gain the power of speech.

Cerebral Palsy sufferer Keith Ferridge has never been able to talk and can only make himself understood to his closest friends and family members.

A disabled man who has spent his whole life struggling to communicate is finally hoping to gain the power of speech.

Cerebral Palsy sufferer Keith Ferridge has never been able to talk and can only make himself understood to his closest friends and family members.

Now a fundraising campaign has been launched to raise cash to buy an electronic communication device for Keith.

Despite the frustration of not being able to fully express himself, Keith has won many friends with his infectious sense of humour and sunny outlook on life.

A well known character locally, he has attended Centre 81, a day centre people with disabilities, for the last 24 years.

Mum June said: “It is frustrating for Keith when he gets tongue tied and has to keep repeating himself, there are lots of words he cannot pronounce.

“He is happy and enjoys a laugh and joke, but this equipment would make a big difference to his quality of life.”

A keen sailor, bowls, chess and cards player, Keith also enjoys watching karate films.

Between £5,000 and £7,000 is needed to pay for the speech device, similar to the one used by scientist Stephen Hawking.

So far around £2,500 has been raised with collections in WH Smith, Henry's clothes store and Iceland in Yarmouth.

Pledges of help have also been made from Great Yarmouth Lions Club, St Mary's Catholic Church and the People in Need Service.

Keith's friend Tony Pritchard, who owns jewellery and crystal stall in Market Gates shopping centre, lost 17lbs in a sponsored slim, which raised £400.

Tony is also helping to organise a wheelchair marathon and walk from Yarmouth seafront to Centre 81 in July to provide a further cash boost.

Nikki Pitts, of Centre 81, said: “This would make an awful lot of difference to Keith's quality of life as only people who have known him for a long time can understand him.

“Once you have met him he will never be forgotten - Keith is a bit of a prankster, but you cannot help but like him, he would do anything for anybody. He has a real zest for life and will have a go and anything and everything.”


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