A DISABLED teenage boy’s wish for more independence and a carbon-fibre wheelchair has sparked a £10,000 appeal.

Kendal College student Joshua Hunter, 16, was born prematurely with cerebral palsy and is completely reliant on his wheelchair as he cannot use his arms or legs.

However, the NHS metal-framed chair is heavy, cumbersome and virtually impossible for mum Sarah to push on her own.

Liverpool FC fan Joshua also has scoliosis - curvature of the spine - which makes the chair extremely uncomfortable for the former Queen Katherine School pupil.

Sarah, of Oxenholme, told the Gazette she simply cannot afford the £10,000 needed to buy her football-loving son a lightweight, carbon-fibre, motorised chair to give him greater comfort and freedom.

However, kind-hearted friends have come to the rescue by organising a black-tie charity auction evening on February 2 next year at the Burnside Hotel, Bowness. The venue is being supplied free of charge, and more than 50 auction lots have already been pledged.

MP Tim Farron has taken a keen interest and is hoping to attend, to the excitement of Joshua, who loves politics.

Mum Sarah, a part-time receptionist at Station House Surgery, Kendal, said of the support: “It’s unbelievable. I know how much people think of Joshua, he’s a character in himself, but I’m overwhelmed by people donating. It’s fantastic.”

Joshua and his twin Jacob were born at 26 weeks, weighing a tiny 1lb 15oz.

The brothers were diagnosed with quadriplegic cerebral palsy aged 12 months, and tragically Jacob’s short life ended a year later.

Family friends Simon and Emma Folks are among the many well-wishers rallying round Sarah, Joshua and his nine-year-old sister Grace.

Simon described the teen’s NHS wheelchair as “a big old piece of iron” and “a bit of a nightmare”, being so heavy for Sarah and his carers to manoeuvre.

A lighter, motorised chair would make life easier for everyone, he said, as well as help Joshua to sit more comfortably at home and when out and about.

The fun-loving and sociable 16-year-old loves nothing more than summer BBQs, watching The Andrew Marr Show on Sundays, and visiting Kendal to explore its local history, said Simon.

“He’s got an unbelievable personality,” added mum Sarah. “He has a really good outlook on life. He never complains and he doesn’t feel sorry for himself. He just gets on with it.”

If you would like to make a donation, pledge an auction lot or buy a ticket for February 2, at £35, please email Emma Folks at ikkleem27@hotmail.co.uk