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Christmas celebrations for former Howard Community Primary School caretaker Colin White as campaign raises £8,465





A former school caretaker left partially paralysed in a fall was celebrating this Christmas after a campaign to transform his home raised more than £8,400.

Colin White, 56, was left a tetraplegic after he fell down the stairs at his home, in McIntyre Walk, Bury St Edmunds last December.

Left virtually bed and chair ridden, he and his wife Jo were fund-raising to build a conservatory at the back of their house so Colin can look out on to his garden which he loved tending to.

Trevor Bluett, Michelle Jennings, Sue Bluett, Ernie Broom, Paul Hopfensperger and pupils from Howard Community Primary School with Colin White and his wife at the cheque presentation Picture by Mark Westley
Trevor Bluett, Michelle Jennings, Sue Bluett, Ernie Broom, Paul Hopfensperger and pupils from Howard Community Primary School with Colin White and his wife at the cheque presentation Picture by Mark Westley

Following an appeal in the Bury Free Press in October, the community rallied to support them.

Donations poured in - boosting their total to £8,465 - and last week they were presented with cheques at Howard Community Primary School, where Colin worked as a caretaker for 18 years.

Frames Conservatories Direct is due to build the conservatory for them after Christmas.

It will make a big difference to Colin's life and he will be able to see the outside world a bit more - Jo White

Jo, 55, said: "It's a big gift that hopefully will make Colin's year next year a lot better for him compared to this year."

Praising the community response, she added: "It's been absolutely fantastic - it restores your faith in people, it really does.

"It will make a big difference to Colin's life and he will be able to see the outside world a bit more."

Cllr Paul Hopfensperger launched an online crowdfunding appeal and presented a cheque for £3,032.30.

He said: "A lot of people knew Colin and said he helped their children at school.

"There's a lot of community goodwill there and it's a great community effort.

"He's had a terrible accident and nothing can compensate what he's gone through.

"All we can do is try to do our best to help and I think we've done that as a community."

Ernie Broom, chairman of the Howard Estate Association of Residents and Tenants, gave a cheque for £265 raised from a HEART bingo night.

He said: "Colin was a hard working caretaker. This shows how our community does look after one another."

Howard Primary raised £1,000 from a bingo night, cake sale and Christmas fayre.

With the money, Jo said they also plan to alter their downstairs toilet and adapt their garden to make them accessible.

Jo, who works as a nursing assistant at West Suffolk Hospital, also hopes to run a Valentine's fund-raising raffle to go towards the garden.