Local man with locked-in-syndrome turns to Crowdfunding to prevent eviction

SA Updated
Local man with locked-in-syndrome turns to Crowdfunding to prevent eviction

Local man Howard Wicks has turned to crowdfunding to try and ensure he doesn't lose his fully adapted house. 

Howard, who suffered a stroke at the age of 16 leaving him with Locked-in Syndrome, has turned to crowdfunding to try and prevent his eviction after his landlord informed him they were selling the house he lives in. 

Howard Wicks

He wrote on his JustGiving page: "I have struggled with locked-in syndrome for the past 11 years, with four of those years spent in rehabilitation centres and the remaining seven years at my home in Kingsbridge. However, my current landlord has decided to sell the property, which means that I may have to move to a council-provided home in a different location.

"This potential move is causing significant stress and anxiety for me. Not only would I lose most of my staff and equipment, but I would also lose the supportive community that has helped me and my charity thrive. The thought of rebuilding my life in a new location and facing the challenges of living with locked-in syndrome is overwhelming and potentially devastating for my mental health.

"The past 11 years have been a difficult journey, and the thought of starting over in a new location is overwhelming. The challenges and struggles of living with locked-in syndrome are already immense, and the added stress of a forced move could push my mental health to a breaking point.

"Eyes crossed this isn't my last year in here."

"This is my corridor between the lounge area and bedroom. In between are my staff bedroom and staff bathroom and a few room cupboards. 🧣 The doors are widened for me so I can fit through easier." - Howard Wicks

Howard moved into the house after a couple offered to buy the house for him in 2015, and it was fully adapted to meet his needs. This meant he was able to leave the rehabilitation centre and return home to the South Hams. 

In March 2021 he set up his own company and went private with his own Wicks Enterprise. He said he didn't want to be "under providers who don't understand care" and in October 2022 he finally secured his team of nine. He calls them a "really happy, fun, hardworking team who gel really well together".

"My lift in the corner of my bedroom that takes me down to the garage, this is how I get in and out the house." - Howard Wicks

Howard said: "As the new year approaches, excitement's in the air, now I feel safe and secure managing my own team, 2023 was going to be the year focusing on purely my recovery. Then this.."

"My shower room the opposite side of the bedroom" - Howard Wicks 

He continued: "Leaving Kingsbridge would mean everything to me, because at this current moment in time, I am so involved with the Kingsbridge community, I currently go up to the Kingsbridge Community College to mentor students as a former student of KCC.

"My charity, is literally a Kingsbridge born charity, all the trustees are from here, all our fundraising events happen in and around Kingsbridge, all of the community here know me as a town hero, so really support the Locked in Trust charity, most of our volunteers are recruited up at the school. So leaving Kingsbridge would put a stop to all that.

"Above all that, Housing adaptations, A big enough turning circle for my wheelchair inside the house. My equipment, Mufasa my cat. At the end of the day, here in Kingsbridge everyone knows me, i am supported by everyone here. I need this.

"I appreciate this fundraiser has come at the wrong time of the year but I have very little time left. Please help me and give generously, Me, [my cat] Mufasa and my staff will really appreciate it."  

If you would like to donate to Howard, visit his JustGiving page: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/savehoward

"This is inside my adapted home. As you will see this house is just right for me allowing me to wander around freely. I know it [is] a lovely house but believe it or not this size is just right for me, any smaller (which the council house would be) I would literally be crammed into a room." - Howard Wicks 


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