Helping Travis have a splashing time

Travis Turner, centre, tries out his new water feature with plumbers Mick and Helen Bake who designed and installed the unit.'112243
Travis Turner, centre, tries out his new water feature with plumbers Mick and Helen Bake who designed and installed the unit.'112243

A TEENAGER is having a splashing time to help him overcome serious health issues, thanks to the efforts of a Scarborough group of businesses and organisations.

Fourteen-year-old Travis Turner has severe learning difficulties and severe epilepsy and recently had a period of serious illness.

The youngster, a pupil of Springhead School, Scarborough, enjoys water play – to the extent that his funtime meant that mother Gaynor had to spend much time mopping up water from the floors of their home because Travis liked to experiment with taps and the flow of water.

But they have been helped by the installation of an outside water play area with pipes and gutters at their home at Rarey Drive, Weaverthorpe, near Malton. The equipment was designed and installed by plumbers Mick and Helen Baker.

It was financed under the Triumph Against Adversity project involving the Evening News and the Scarborough’s Business Ambassadors’ Forum, which comprises about 40 invited representatives from companies, organisations and the borough council.

They meet regularly at various venues, including Beiderbecke’s Hotel and Yorkshire Coast College, and collections are made to help benefit the home life of special needs youngsters and their families.

“I spoke to Travis’s mum and she was overcome with the thought of help and funding for an activity that he enjoys at home,” said Jan Johnson, deputy headteacher of Springhead School, the chosen charity of the ambassadors’ group.

Mrs Turner said: “The water play equipment is so good for Travis as he can play outside independently. He will also be able to use the area when he is in his wheelchair and can’t stand.

“It means he can play and experiment with water, pouring and filling up buckets, splashing and learning how water flows along pipes.”

She added: “I would do anything for Travis as he deserves every opportunity to have fun and enjoy life.”

Travis was the fourth youth to benefit from the Triumph Against Adversity scheme. Previous pupils include:

Stephen Goodwill, 17, of Scarborough, who suffers from cerebral palsy, and received a state-of-the-art musical boom box that he could control himself; James Bailey, a 12-year-old Springhead pupil with multiple physical difficulties, who received a sophisticated £600 coloured light bubble tube that helps keep him relaxed and entertained; and William Pinder, 11, of Filey, who has severe learning difficulties, and received a large-screen computer, jumbo keyboard and specialised software for home use.

The idea was launched in January 2009 at a meeting of the business group to help deserving youths in their personal lives.

So far a total of about £3,000 has been raised, with the remaining £640 available for the next recipient, who is being chosen by Springhead School, and will feature in the Evening News.

The presentations are made by Ed Asquith, Evening News editor, and businessman Peter Wilkinson, chairman of the Scarborough Ambassadors’ Forum which is run by an independent board and supports business enterprise and renaissance in Scarborough, in conjunction with the borough council, enterprise partnerships, the Scarborough Town Team, the Forum for Tourism and private business.