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News: Stephen steps up to raise funds for favourite place, the Custom’s House

Stephen steps up to raise funds for favourite place, the Custom’s House

A young theatre fan is stepping up to help raise funds for his favourite theatre.

Nine-year-old Stephen Idle was heart-broken when he found The Customs House had to close in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Bamburgh School pupil has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair to get around most of the time but he has been using his walker to walk 200m every day to raise funds for the South Shields arts centre and charity.

His mum Helen Scott said: “Stephen was devastated when The Customs House had to close and when he got his walker home from school, he said he would walk 1000 miles for The Customs House to be open again. This gave us the idea for him to do a sponsored walk for The Customs House and also an incentive to use his walker.”

Stephen is well known to staff at The Customs House as he often attends pantomimes multiple times – sometimes even twice in one day and is regularly dressed as his favourite characters which his nana Sandra Scott recreates.

Stephen has called his challenge the ‘Walking Costume’ and it will end with one final walk outside The Customs House on Saturday 25 th July at 11.30am.

He has already smashed his target of £100 – so far raising more than £1400.

Customs House Executive Director Ray Spencer said: “In these the darkest of days there is always a light, a sign of better tomorrows, and Stephen is that sign! Despite his own considerable challenges, he wants The Customs House not just to survive but also thrive! With his support and the community of South Tyneside we will get through this!”

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