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Raising Money One Step at a Time

South Tyneside Council is encouraging residents to support a young theatre fan in raising money for a local arts centre and charity.   

Stephen Idle, who is aged nine and suffers with cerebral palsy, usually uses a wheelchair to get around but set himself the challenge of using his walker to walk 200m every day in order to raise money for The Customs House.

The Customs House, an arts and entertainment venue in South Shields, is Stephen's favourite place and he was keen to do something to help when the centre was forced to close due to the Coronavirus pandemic.  

Stephen was joined by the Mayor and Mayoress of South Tyneside, Councillor Norman Dick and Mrs Jean Williamson last week when they supported Stephen during his final sponsored walk.

The Mayor of South Tyneside said: "The Mayoress and I really enjoyed being there to support Stephen at The Customs House and cheer him on at the finish line of his final 200m walk. It was wonderful to see how many people had turned out to support him.

"Stephen has put so much effort into raising money for his favourite place and his determination and commitment to the cause is truly inspiring.

"Not only is The Customs House loved by Stephen, but it is also extremely treasured by many people across the Borough and is an important asset that we cannot afford to lose in South Tyneside.

"We would encourage everyone to donate what they can spare to Stephen's cause and help to keep The Customs House thriving."

Stephen has called his challenge 'The Walking Costume' and has already surpassed his target of £100.  

Ray Spencer, Executive Director at the Customs House, said:" Even in the darkest of times there is sometimes a light, a glimmer of better times ahead. Stephen is that light despite his own considerable challenges he set out to make a difference.

"No one who witnessed those final few steps will ever forget his smile, as wide as the Tyne, and the unbridle joy of achievement. He won the hearts of all who cheered him on and single handily lifted the spirits of an entire borough."

If you would like to donate to Stephen's cause go to:

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