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By Ian Maddock - Posted on 06 October 2014

Foley School wheel chair.jpg

The lives of a five year old Kinver boy - and his mother - have been transformed after staff at Foley Infant School in the village approached Kinver Rotary Club for funds to purchase a wheel chair.

Myles Clarke was born with a severe deformity of his right leg which has already required a series of operations that have left him with his leg in plaster for 3½ years of his life. And he will be subjected to further extensive surgery at Birmingham Children's Hospital as he grows up, wearing splints for much of the time.

As he was unable to walk any significant distance, his mother Natalie was given use of a buggy for some time, but this had to be returned to the hospital that had supplied it, resulting in her having to carry him almost all of the time. Staff at Foley Infant School who faced the problem of involving him successfully in school life, decided his school life would be helped greatly if he could be supplied with a wheel chair to help him take part in lessons and also give him the independence to move round the classroom and playground.

Foley head teacher Jason Willetts approached Bill Wykes, Kinver Rotary Club’s schools liaison member, who won the approval of the club to provide the school with a wheelchair for Myles’s use until he moves on to senior school, when it will revert to the school for any future requirements.

Natalie, who moved to Kinver last year and now lives in Crystal Gardens, says: “The staff at the school have been marvellous - what they have done for Myles has been amazing.  I don’t think he would have had proper schooling if we had not moved to Kinver.  He used to be upset when I left him in his early days at school but the staff always contacted me during the day to inform me he had settled down.  Now he loves school. 

“He has been able to make more friends who like to push him round the playground.  The independence he has been given through the self propelled chair has given him so much more confidence.”

She said that she was unaware of the support available from the village’s Rotary Club in situations like hers and expressed her thanks to the school for approaching the club and to President Roger Stephenson, and members for providing the funds for the chair.

The photograph shows Roger Stephenson, Kinver Rotary Club President, with Myles Clarke and (standing left to right) Bill Wykes, Rotary’s schools liaison member; Jason Willetts, Head teacher; Myles’ mother Natalie;  Lara Keasey, Myles Support Assistant.

Mike Deathridge

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