A TEENAGE DJ with quadriplegic cerebral palsy is getting some new tech to help pursue his love of music.

Oli Cunningham from Kendal needed a new computer to continue with his passion, as his old one could not keep up with him.

Facebook group Cumbria Karaoke Lockdown stepped in and created a fundraiser for Oli, to the complete surprise of his family.

Huge support meant the £1,500 target was soon reached and the 14-year-old will receive his computer today.

Stephen Whitehouse, group administrator, set up the fund.

“I work with children and young people with the local authority, supporting Special Educational Needs young people back into education,” he said.

“A social worker called Claire Chorley, who I work with, has been supporting Oli and family and knew they were struggling for funding.

“As a friend and after watching all the good work we have been doing on the site, she contacted me to see if we could help. I had a meeting with my team and the rest is history.”

Oli uses a communication device that he controls with his eyes. This enables him to talk and do his school work.

His dad Peter Cunningham managed to adapt the computer software to allow Oli to mix his songs.

However this was too slow and regularly crashed. He needed a faster computer to use for DJing that didn’t affect his communication device.

Oli got into DJing after attending a 1 Voice-Communicating Together charity conference where the person who usually played the music wasn’t there.

“A trustee put on her playlist and it was predominantly Abba - Oli complained and said it was pants,”said Peter.

“They said 'why don’t you do it next year?' And that was it.”

Oli has performed his DJ sets for many audiences. He performed for 1 Voice-Communicating Together in Southampton and last year he performed at the Sandylands Residents Association Halloween Party.

Before lockdown, Oli had a full calendar of musical commitments and was hoping to perform a set at No Limits Disability music festival in Barnsley.

Unfortunately this was cancelled and Oli’s family have been shielding since March.

He has not let this get in the way of his music-making though and has been hosting discos and weekly DJ sets on Zoom which he shares with friends.

“He’s absolutely focused on it - it has given him a reason to get out of bed in the morning,” said Peter.