A Bath College student left paralysed after a motorcycle accident has launched a fundraising appeal for a standing wheelchair to help him train as a hairdresser.
Mitchell Chalmers needs £4,900 for the wheelchair, which would make a big difference to his learning as a first-year student at Bath College.
He was just 22-years-old when he came off his bike at a motocross racing event three years ago, suffering severe spinal injuries as a result.
Going back to college, to train for a profession and secure a job, is an important step along his road to recovery.
Mitchell, who is paralysed from the stomach down, said: “I’d been riding since I was eight-years-old and I’d got to British Championship level.
“I loved it and I still love it now. I feel I have had so much taken away from me and I need to fight and get something back.
“It’s been hard to find a job since my accident, but I think I’m young enough to try something new and being in a wheelchair won’t stop me.
“I have a dream to become a hairdresser so I can support myself financially, I’m quite creative and I think there’s a real art to hairdressing.”
The standing wheelchair will give Mitchell extra height and support, making it easier for him to lift and cut peoples’ hair.
Students in his class are getting behind the appeal and are planning a fundraising event at the Bath College salon.
For the week after half-term, starting on Monday 31st October, students are organising a rowing machine challenge.
Participants will pay £1 to see how fast they can row 1,000 metres, with a prize for the fastest time.
Friends and family have already supported Mitchell, raising £700 with a charity raffle and barbecue at the Crossways in Midsomer Norton.
He is more than halfway to reaching his target of £4,900 after collecting £2,020 from 63 supporters on his JustGiving page.
Mitchell said: “The wheelchairs are made specifically for your height and weight. I’ve had a demonstration and it felt really good.
“One of the biggest struggles is funding equipment to help me do the things I was able to do before. I don’t think there’s enough help out there.
“When I set up my JustGiving page, everyone pulled together to help. It’s been amazing really – the funds shot up in the first two weeks.
“For some time after the accident I shut myself away, but coming to college and meeting new people has given me a real confidence boost.”
To support Mitchell, visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/mitchell-chalmers.