Merchants’ help sought for former tri-athlete

A crowd-funding campaign in Sussex is seeking help from builders and plumbers merchants to convert the home of a member of the Mid Sussex Triathlon Club who has developed multiple sclerosis.

Nick Cook, was a keen amateur triathlete and cyclist, competing successfully in local races as a founding member of the club until 2004, when he was diagnosed with primary progressive multiple sclerosis.

Not only did he have to give up sports but also his job as an electrician. Now, largely confined to a wheelchair, Cook is finding it increasingly difficult to move about his house in Uckfield, East Sussex, and especially to tackle the stairs, despite the installation of a stairlift.

Cook’s friend Brad Williams told Mid-Sussex Times that a work is needed to turn the existing garage to the side of Cook’s house into a bedroom and wet room, so he no longer has to use the stairs and create new, level wheelchair access to the front of his house as well as to adapt the kitchen.

“Nick’s condition is deteriorating by the week,” he said. “Urgent action is needed now to future-proof his house to help him live as normal a life as possible.”

Cook’s friends and club mates, led by professional builder Graham Bond, are to undertake the work themselves at a significantly reduced price, and hope to begin work in July 2020.

Local suppliers are being asked to donate materials to the campaign. In return, they will receive a certificate for display in their premises and their contributions will be recognised online, via social media and in media coverage of the project.

Tradesmen and those with relevant expertise are also being invited to donate their time to the project.

The campaign is asking supporters to donate directly via a crowdfunding campaign to enable Cook to retain his independent life in his own home

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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