Sea Scout leader’s challenge to raise funds for disabled lift

Mechanic Dave Blythe with Colin Strong and store manager Tom Streader
Mechanic Dave Blythe with Colin Strong and store manager Tom Streader

A Sea Scout leader of ten years, who suffers from a debilitating muscle wasting condition, is taking on a cycle challenge to raise funds for a new lift and showers at the Scout hut.

Colin Strong, of Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham, hopes to raise £15,000 through his Downs Link journey from Guildford to Shoreham on Wednesday.

The funds will be put towards a £40,000 scheme to make the headquarters of the 3rd Shoreham Sea Scouts in the Adur Recreation Ground more accessible for disabled people.

The 50-year-old has had symptoms of CMT, a genetic condition that damages nerves, since he was just 14 years old but said his condition has worsened over the last three years, to the extent that he was offered a wheelchair by the NHS.

At this point, he said: “I started to panic. There were still things I wanted to achieve.”

One of the top activities on his list was climbing a mountain and, despite being on crutches, a determined Colin climbed up and down Mount Snowdon.

He decided to use his next challenge, the 37-mile cycle, to raise money for the Scouts, as he said: “The Scouts gave me a sense of purpose when I lost my job because of my disabilities. Without them, it would have been quite hard.”

Colin said he had ‘really enjoyed’ his job at ASDA, working in customers service and in security, until the fatigue and pain from his condition left him unable to continue.

He added: “It is so nice seeing the scouts having so much fun learning life skills. The modifications to the building will allow everyone to access the water.”

Due to his condition, Colin was advised to use a power assisted bike for the ride.

Bike specialists Giant Store Shoreham, in Little High Street, offered to let him borrow one for free and Dave Blythe, a mechanic at Giant, who described Colin’s story as ‘inspirational’, will even join him on the ride for support.

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