A SELF-EMPLOYED carpenter has vowed to raise as much money as possible to help a paralympic hopeful achieve his dream of competing in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.

Stuart Mckay, 60, of Hurworth near Darlington, said he had never met anyone like Lyndon Longhorne after years of following participation in sport with 'interest'.

Mr Longhorne, from Crook in County Durham, had to have his legs and an arm amputated when he contracted meningitis and meningococcal septicaemia aged eight months old.

Almost four years ago, Mr Longhorne visited Downing Street as part of a campaign for government to make available a vaccine for Meningitis B to children of all ages.

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Months later, Mr Longhorne took part in the British International Paralympic Swimming Championships in Glasgow where he twice broke the British record for the 50 metres breaststroke.

But in a bid to help the hopeful paralympian achieve his goal representing Great Britain, Mr Mckay has organised a fundraising event in Hurworth near Darlington.

Mr Mckay told The Northern Echo: "I read about Lyndon a few years ago and since then I have followed him with interest.

"Throughout my life I have met some inspiring people, but I have never met anyone who comes anywhere near like Lyndon."

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Friends with Mr Longhorne on social media, the self-employed carpenter said sent him a message suggesting the fundraising event.

Mr Mckay said: "I just wanted to help him out, I really really did. People like to help people, but after a while they go back to their lives.

"The reason that we are doing it is to get funds for him – he’s aiming to get into the British National Paralympic Squad – if he gets in, he should get into the Tokyo Paralympics."

Earlier this week, Mr Mckay said he had achieved the support of his 27-year-old daughter, singer and songwriter Hayley Mckay.

Hayley Mckay, who's previously performed at Glastonbury and supported Tom Jones, Tony Christie, Scouting for Girls and Albert Lee, will perform at the event next month.

Darlington singer-songwriter Hayley McKay starts the year with a new single

Organising, Mr Mckay added that Lyndon was 'beaming' when plans for the fundraiser were finalised. He said: "Lyndon has this mindset that 'yes things have been tough in life', but he’s always going to try and overcome it. It’s given him a real fill-up – when we spoke about it he was just beaming from ear to ear."

The fundraiser will take place at Hurworth Village Hall on Saturday, November 9 at 7pm.

Tickets are required and are £8 each, to request a ticket telephone Mr Mckay on 07980-588065.