Disabled man leaving home for a new life

Antonio Brown is organising a charity fireworks night in Holbeach.
Antonio Brown is organising a charity fireworks night in Holbeach.

A disabled man, who has spent eight years in a care home in Holbeach, plans to go out with a bang when he leaves to start a new life – by organising a charity fireworks night.

Antonio Brown (36), a resident at Hovenden House, will shortly complete an Access to Community Health Care course at Peterborough Regional College and go on to take Psychosocial Studies at university.

Mr Brown, who has muscular dystrophy and has been in a wheelchair since he was eight years old, said: “As well as living here, I’ve been a support worker for Leonard Cheshire at Anton House in Holbeach.

“I’m also a trained electrician. But when I got to my 30s, I just wanted more from life.

“My ambition is to became a lecturer in social care. I think I am the perfect person to do this because I have had first-hand experience.

“People will be able to learn from me and my experiences.

“I will be sad to leave everyone here, but I think it’s important to get the message across that just because you are disabled life doesn’t owe you anything.

“If you want something badly enough you have to go out and get it and that’s what I’m doing.

“I’m holding the fireworks event to say thank you to everyone at Hovenden House and raise the profile of the important work that is done here.

“The house desperately needs more volunteers and working here is very rewarding.

”Of course, I’m also hoping to raise a lot of money to help this work carry on.”

Joanne Rate, volunteer co-ordinator at Hovenden House, said: “Everyone here is very proud of Antonio. We will miss him.”

l The fireworks evening in aid of Leonard Cheshire Disability will take place at Hovenden House in Lowgate, Fleet, on Saturday, November 2, starting at 6pm. Hot food and soup will be available. Entry is by £2 donation.