At Southend News Network, we spend a lot of time writing so-called ‘news content’ and giving everyone in the town and beyond a good laugh. However, when we are not making Katie Hopkins look like an idiot live on national radio, we sometimes try and use our increasing Facebook presence for good!

A few days ago, we noticed that a lady called Scarlett Scanlan posted a photo with an urgent request for help. Her son Marcus, a courageous 9-year-old boy from Southend, has a condition called cerebral palsy spastic diplegia, and he cannot walk unassisted. Recently, he was super-excited to receive a specially-adapted trike from Cauldwell Children to help him get around, but there was one small problem.

When his family took delivery of the trike, they realised that it was too big to fit through their front door, and naturally they weren’t too keen on leaving it outside and exposed to the elements, let alone the risk of the trike ‘rolling off by itself.’

Scarlett put a post on Facebook to see if anyone would be willing to donate a bike shed to keep it safe, and at Southend News Network we put the appeal out for everyone to see. It turns out that it didn’t take long for someone to spot it and step up!

A local gentleman called Sam saw it and was only too happy to donate a perfect bike shed. After sending a picture over of a suitable structure, he went and spent £200 on one out of his own pocket. He even rushed round straight from work to put it up with the help of Marcus’ grandfather Bob, and two hours later the special trike was safe and sound in its new home. Top man!

‘Grandad Bob’ posted on our Facebook page: ‘Sam bought the shed because the tricycle is too wide to fit through the front door. Marcus needed a shed to store the bike in the front garden avoiding the door, and Sam had seen the guys who shaved their beards and hair off (a previous appeal). He saw the request for the shed and contacted my daughter Scarlett. He came straight from work as a car salesman and we spent two hours fixing it together. Now Marcus can go for a bike ride any time he wants. God bless you Sam.’

Marcus’ great-grandmother Ruby posted: ‘What a wonderful gift from a stranger to my great grandson Marcus. Thank you so much, this will enable him to keep his new bike in the shed in the front garden as it was too big to go through the front door.’

Delighted Mum Scarlett announced the good news with this picture:


She added: ‘I was blown away by Sam’s act of kindness, and Marcus is looking forward to enjoying Southend Seafront on his new trike!’

‘We were desperate for the bike shed as it wouldn’t even fit through our front door when we took it apart into four pieces.’

The family has set up an appeal called Move A Mountain 4 Marcus – it aims to raise the £23,000 that will be needed to fund a 2-year course of physiotherapy after having a selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR). The operation will hopefully enable him to walk without any assistance over time, and the course of physiotherapy will help to make this a reality.

To find out more, hop over to the appeal’s Facebook page, or check out the Move A Mountain 4 Marcus website.

Have a hunt for @marcability on Twitter too!

You can also make a quick and easy £5 donation to the appeal by texting ‘MMFM91 £5’ to 70070 – remove the quotation marks before sending! Full terms and conditions are available on the appeal’s JustGiving page.