AN ATHLETE dreaming of going to the 2016 Paralympics needs to raise thousands of pounds before she can compete.
Lorraine Lambert, 40, is preparing to go to Rio for the next Paralympics but the cost of her equipment and travel is holding her back.
Lorraine, of Petworth Road, Milton, has been in a wheelchair for the past 11 years after a climbing accident 16 years ago resulted in her losing her left leg.
She used to be an indoor climbing instructor and fell six feet, fracturing her talus, a small bone in the foot, while she was working. After many operations, surgeons could not fix the fracture and Lorraine lost her leg.
She needs to raise at least £8,000 which will cover the cost of her Team GB uniform, travel in Rio and equipment and uniform for her sporting discipline.
Lorraine takes part in the Air Rifle Shooting discipline and won a gold medal in Dubai last year in the World Wheelchair and Amputee Games getting a personal best in the process.
She said: ‘The Paralympics is a major event so UK Sport do put some money towards it but I need to buy all the uniform and it quickly adds up.
‘My shooting jacket and trousers cost £1,100 and I have to pay for bullets which is 22p a bullet which doesn’t seem a lot but when I practise, I am using around 1,000 bullets a month.
‘I don’t think people realise how much the athletes have to pay for in a competition like the Paralympics.’
Her sister, Helen Black, from Milton, has been working with their mum and close friends to arrange for them to hold a table-top sale to help raise some money.
Helen said: ‘We want to help Lorraine with the money because she has been through so much during her life and I can’t think of anyone who deserves to go to Rio more than she does.
‘We have decided to hold a table-top sale soon with about 18 stalls full of different things like jewellery, vintage household items and face painting.
‘We then hope to hold more throughout the summer and maybe have a big party which people can come to and enjoy. We didn’t want to do fundraisers where people don’t get anything back.
‘That is why we’re doing the stalls; people can donate but are getting something themselves.’
The first of the table-top sales is taking place on April 21 at Eastney Community Centre, Bransbury Road, Eastney, between 11am and 3pm.
Admission is free.