Sidmouth Fundraiser Jo back from the brink

PUBLISHED: 06:00 30 August 2010 | UPDATED: 16:39 05 September 2010

P2882-11-10SH Joanne Clements will be holding a charity event for Haiti.; Picture by SIMON HORN.

P2882-11-10SH Joanne Clements will be holding a charity event for Haiti.; Picture by SIMON HORN.


Serious illness hasn’t stopped wheelchair-bound woman’s charity bid

A WHEELCHAIR bound Sidmouth fundraiser has bounced back from serious illness to revive her bid to help homeless families around the world.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) sufferer Jo Clements, 44, suffered a severe epileptic fit and was rushed to hospital less than a day after an event she masterminded raised £800 for devastated Haiti earthquake victims.

The Manstone Avenue resident spent a week in intensive care and further fortnight under the watch of doctors.

Plucky Jo’s mind has never strayed from a charity bid to build homes for the needy across the globe, however, as she penned a book of poetry on the subject while recovering.

Jo hopes ‘Poems for Homes’ will go on sale in the coming weeks and raise cash for the Habitat for Humanity cause.

“They build all over the world where it is needed,” said Jo, who has been moved by recent images of flood devastation in Pakistan. “It costs £1,235 to build a house, I hope to raise that through several events.

“I’ve written a book of poetry on houses- though it’s quite difficult to think of houses to write about.”

Jo also hopes to organise a house themed hat event next year. She wants anyone who can help her charity bid to contact her.

She added: “After the earthquake in Haiti they asked if I could help with house building out there. As I’m in a wheelchair I said I didn’t think so, but I did want to do something.”

Jo arranged a coffee morning at Sidmouth Methodist Church in April.

“Together we raised £800 which was wonderful,” she added, “I think the surprise of it made me very ill. I had a bad epileptic fit.

“I’ve been back to normality for a month and been thinking what I can do.

“Having epilepsy and MS, I’ve been helped a lot. The reason I’ve got this wonderful wheelchair is because of people’s support. One of these costs £7,000- which is a lot more than the £1,235 that I’m trying to raise to build someone a house.”

• To help Jo’s bid, contact her on 07717764882.

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