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Weekly bids to raise thousands for child’s new wheelchair

A weekly newspaper hopes to raise thousands of pounds to help a child move independently for the first time.

The Herne Bay Gazette has launched its Get Ruben Moving campaign to help buy nine-year-old Ruben Harris a wheelchair which he can use on his own.

Ruben was born with bilateral congenital talipes, more commonly known as club feet, and has had numerous operations to try to fix the problem.

The KM Group-owned Gazette is aiming to raise £5,500 for the chair, and launched its appeal on yesterday’s front page, pictured below.


Ruben’s mum Lissa told the newspaper: “Ruben had several operations when he was a baby, but they all failed. He has to use splints to support his legs and he cannot really get around without crutches now.

“The wheelchair would mean he can be independent – it would transform his life and make it so much easier for him.”

Ruben spent three months in Great Ormond Street Hospital, in London, earlier this year and currently struggles to move easily using his NHS-supplied chair.

Mrs Harris added: “His current wheelchair is so heavy and clumpy it is difficult for him to use. The new one would be lightweight so he would be independent and would be able to wheel himself.”

Soon after the newspaper hit the streets, a benefactor contacted reporter Dan Wright to make a significant donation.

Editor Leo Whitlock said: “Ruben’s plight struck a chord in the newsroom and Dan decided to do all he could to help. Our readers are always so incredibly generous we have no doubt we will reach our target in double-quick time.”