Petition to keep paralysed Burgess Hill man near friends hits 660

Simon Gray with his friend Sharmila Lyons who has set up a petition to keep him in Burgess Hill, Micky Lyons (centre). Pic Steve Robards SUS-150402-092858001
Simon Gray with his friend Sharmila Lyons who has set up a petition to keep him in Burgess Hill, Micky Lyons (centre). Pic Steve Robards SUS-150402-092858001

The eviction date of a paralysed man has been pushed back amid a campaign to stop him leaving Burgess Hill.

Simon Gray, who lives in Ernest Kleinwort Court, is paralysed from the chest down after falling down three steps last year.

His friend Sharmila Lyons started a petition to stop Simon from being moved away from his support network.

The petition to East Sussex County Council is signed by 660 people.

“Seeing how much Simon is being effected by being evicted, I want to drum up as much support as possible to try to make East Sussex County Council change their decision,” she said.

“He’s lost a lot of confidence and strength. He’s trying to regain some sort of confidence, he wasn’t going to the shops, or performing simple tasks.”

Simon has appealed the decision, and the date of eviction has been moved from January 29 to February 26 whilst his needs are assessed.

Sharmila continued: “It’s been hard mentally, he’s lost his masculinity, he’s lost a lot of himself through his accident, it’s a big struggle and this could be detrimental to what he has been building on.”

As he did not live in Burgess Hill before the accident, the council has defaulted to moving Simon to a bungalow in Peacehaven.

But he is appreciative of the help he has at Ernest Kleinwort, and has built an invaluable network of friends in Burgess Hill.

“We spend time doing pub quizzes, things to get him out and about,” Sharmila said.

“He needs the support,and he’s made a lot of friends here, having people around him. What if he falls out of his bed, or needs help with washing facilities? At the moment he’s with people in similar circumstances in 24 hour care.”

Sharmila said Simon used to be adventurous, and loved travelling abroad and going out with his friends.

Simon said the petition is ‘fantastic’.

“It feels amazing so many people are supporting me,” he explained.

To sign the petition visit http://bit.ly/SaveSimon