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Disabled teen gets new wheelchair with help from weekly

A weekly’s newspaper’s front page story prompted a town to raise funds for a disabled teenager’s new electric wheelchair.

The Carrick Gazette successfully helped the family of MikeLeigh Simpson raise £5,000 for the equipment, after the 13-year-old was denied one on the National Health Service.

The Gazette’s involvement came about after reporter Ewan McQueen was contacted about MikeLeigh’s situation, which made for a front page story in September.

The story prompted a number of initiatives across the town of Girvan, in Ayrshire, to try and raise the required cash.

A 1980s-themed fundraising night raised £2,000, while other events to contribute included a 5k walk around the town.

News that the target had been reached was carried on the front page of the Gazette’s current edition published on Wednesday.

Carrick front

Said Ewan: “The community has come together, it’s been good for us to help out and I hope in some way we’ve raised awareness of the issues faced by people like MikeLeigh.

“We’ve had some really good feedback, particularly from the people that hadn’t heard the full story before we ran it.

“They were pretty shocked the NHS had turned it down.

“When you’re in a small town like this it’s always good to rally round one of our own and we’ve managed to help with that.”