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Apprentices help paralysed mum regain independence

SWH Group Highways Apprentices recently gave up their time to build a driveway for a paralysed mum of four in Ottery St Mary.

Lucy Lowe was injured in a freak accident and complications following surgery to remove her coccyx left her confined to a wheelchair for the rest of her life. Lucy was in hospital for 21 months as the family tried to raise funds to pay for alterations to their home. Lucy was able to return home in March this year but couldn’t leave the house on her own due to the property’s steep drive.

In April, SWH Group Apprentices and Supervisors gave up their time, with the support of the company, to resurface the drive free of charge. Aggregate Industries supplied the materials and Angus Hamilton from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and Sean McMahon from SWH Group worked together to co-ordinate the project.

Lucy said: “It has made the world of difference. It has given me my independence. That’s the last bit [to be renovated]. I could not get out myself at all before – there have been a few incidents where I had nearly fallen off the chair, even with people pushing me. It feels amazing. I have got a car coming in a couple of weeks, which will make all the difference as I will be able to drive and go out. A massive thank-you to all involved. I think it took a bit of pulling off.”

Angus - a friend of Lucy’s - said: “I thought if I can’t help Lucy out and do something then who will? I got in touch with Sean and he said speak to Aggregate Industries. Sean has worked really hard to get all the people in place. This group of apprentices just need to be signed off and we said to them about doing this. It’s taken a lot of work from everyone - it was just getting the right people in the right places.”