Teenager Shauna-Leigh Winspear has raised almost £1,000 for a leading forces charity after completing a heroic challenge to spend a week in a wheelchair.
The selfless 16-year-old student from Bishop Cuthbert in Hartlepool went for a week in the chair over Christmas in aid of Help for Heroes and to raise awareness of the issues faced by disabled people every day.
She was inspired to do it by her dad Craig Winspear who had to massively readjust to life after he lost both legs in an explosion while serving with the Army in Afghanistan in December 2011.
Craig, 35, used a wheelchair after the accident and now has two prosthetic legs.
Shauna-Leigh spent from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Eve in a standard wheelchair while staying with her dad and step mum Hayley Winspear in Bedford.
Back in Hartlepool, she said: “It was really difficult. It really made me appreciate all of the little things like being able to reach the sink for doing the pots.
“The hardest thing was going out in public because a lot of places just don’t have access for wheelchairs.
“If it is a busy place you can’t get around or do much. It was really stressful.”
Shauna-Leigh, who is taking her A-levels at Hartlepool Sixth Form College, kept a daily blog of her experiences which she posted online.
She wrote: “I pushed my body to lengths I’ve never done before with the support of the people around me and I believe it has made me appreciate so much about the world we live in.”
Shauna-Leigh described the numerous obstacles she faced during the challenge from struggling to open and go through doors to trying to enjoy a family walk with the dogs outdoors.
She was left with hurting biceps and blistered fingers.
And despite offers of help, she was determined to do as much by herself;
Shauna-Leigh said: “Apart from the odd push up a hill I didn’t want to get help because it was my challenge and tried to do as much as I could on my own.”
She added: “Dad was really proud. I think it reminded him of when he was in a chair and how he has overcome it.
“It was heartwarming in a way.”
And it has all been in a good cause. Shauna-Leigh said: “I have raised £962 so I have almost doubled my goal which is so crazy to think.”
Donations can still be made to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/shauna-leighwinspear
To read Shauna-Leigh’s blog visit shaunasblogsonline.wordpress.com