AN INSPIRATIONAL young man is calling on the people of Eastbourne to help save a charity close to his heart from closure.
Liam Plumridge, who lives in the town centre, suffers from dyspraxia which affects co-ordination, balance, fine motor skills, language, thought and perception.
He was diagnosed when he was seven years old but refuses to let his disability stop him achieving his hopes and dreams.
The charismatic young man is a trustee of the Dyspraxia Foundation and he is organising events to help save the charity which is struggling financially.
The inspirational 21-year-old is taking part in fitness challenges, organising charity nights at TJ’s Nightclub, doing talks to raise awareness about the disability, studying for his degree in International Travel Management and playing an active role within the student union in Eastbourne.
He also manages to hold down a part-time job at Tesco in Lottbridge Drove.
A major milestone in Liam’s life in 2007 was when he was seen on BBC 2’s ‘Across the Andes – Beyond Boundaries’ programme with nine other disabled people, completing an expedition in Ecuador from the Amazon Rainforest across the Andes, ending at the Pacific Coast.
Since the programme, Liam has set-up his own voluntary public speaking service, won awards and met politicians.
Liam is a young ambassador for the Dyspraxia Foundation and is a trustee for the charity.
He said, “The charity helped me with my university application and now I help other young people with getting in to university.
“I help them with same worries I had about moving away from home and living on my own.
“All the advice I give them is based on my own personal experiences.”
The Dyspraxia Foundation, which is now 25 years old, is threatened with closure and Liam is now doing everything it can to get it back on its feet.
Liam said, “The charity is on its last legs because it hasn’t got any money left.
“We found out last year that we are in a serious predicament and we had to close our national helpline, which is a real shame because that was a valuable resource.
“Unfortunately people don’t know much about dyspraxia so it doesn’t get as much money as some of the other bigger charities.
“They do say that one in 30 children is the classroom has dyspraxia so it is something which affects lots of people and we want to raise awareness of that because it is an astonishing figure.”
A big part of Liam’s charity work involves giving talks in schools to help teachers spot the signs.
As part of the fundraising drive, Liam will be taking part in a run, swim and bike ride at Eastbourne Sports Park on February 6 at 2pm.
He said, “This is going to be a real challenge for me so I really hope people get behind me and support me on that one.”
In addition Liam is organising a number of events at TJ’s Nightclub.
There will be a charity superbowl evening at 10pm on February 5, a Take Me Out and retro themed night from 11pm on February 9, and a silent disco at the club from 10pm at 10.30pm.
Tickets for all the events are priced between £3 and £5 and are available from the student union office at the university.
Liam is also looking for men and women to take part in the Take Me Out event.
Those taking part are in with a chance of meeting their Mr or Mrs Right and will get a free drink for taking part.
For more information about the charity or any of the events taking place next week email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
To donate money to the cause visit www.justgiving.com/LiamPlumridge.