Student Mitchell Chalmers is pressing ahead with his dream to become a qualified hairdresser after a successful fundraising campaign.
Mitchell, known as Mitch, was left paralysed from the chest down after an accident at a motocross racing event three years ago.
He has collected £4,900 for a standing wheelchair to help him with his hairdressing training after inspiring hundreds of people to donate through JustGiving.
Mitch, a hairdressing student at Bath College, shared his story on the radio and in the local press, and has been supported with his fundraising by family and friends.
In October, hairdressing and beauty students from Bath College raised £316 in one week through a sponsored rowing challenge and raffle.
Mitch, 25, said: “It’s surprising how many people it’s reached – I’m grateful for everyone’s support and a bit overwhelmed.
“It helped a lot when I was in the news, that was when my JustGiving page started going up and I collected £1,000 in two days.
“Someone donated from Blackpool, which is miles away.”
Studying hairdressing at Bath College is an important step for Mitch, who is keen to re-gain his independence by starting a new career.
He was competing at British Championship level before the life-changing accident, which happened when his bike hit a bump on the track.
The standing wheelchair will help Mitch in class, providing extra height and support which makes it easier to lift and cut peoples’ hair.
It will also benefit him physically, as standing will help to increase the blood supply around his body and re-gain some strength in his muscles.
Mitch said: “The new wheelchair will make a massive difference, it’s the next step in my career doing a job I enjoy and making a fresh start.
“At first I wasn’t sure if I would hit the fundraising target, but now I can’t wait to get the chair and use it – hopefully it will be before Christmas.
“It’s all falling into place nicely and I’m excited to get my training done so I can work every day.”
Hairdressing tutor Lisa Nelson said: “It’s not just about being able to work, being able to stand will help Mitch physically providing physiotherapy.
“The students did really well fundraising. It was just so nice for them to collect for something close to home, because they’ll be able to see the benefit that it will have for Mitch.”