Brave Wigan schoolboy Leo wants to clean up his neighbourhood
A Wigan schoolboy who has overcome some huge hurdles in his short life so far is taking inspiration from his little sister as he looks to help tidy up the community.
Seven-year-old Leo Whitley, from Aspull, wants to do his bit for his town by helping coordinate the Aspull Big Clean which will take place at the start of next month.
Other news: Shock and sadness as Wigan plant-based cafe and restaurant The Coven shuts downHis sister Isabelle-Clare, who only recently celebrated her first birthday, was recently crowned Mini Miss Natural Beauty England, and has since been the face of local campaigns to help those less fortunate, whether it be supporting Aspull’s One House - a multiservice community centre offering support to those with mental illness - or collecting ring pulls from soft drinks cans to send off to charities to be recycled.
Leo suffers from albinism and nystagmus, a vision condition in which the eyes make repetitive, uncontrolled movements. These movements often result in reduced vision and depth perception and can affect balance and coordination.
But he hasn’t let his conditions get the better of him, and is determined to follow in his sister’s footsteps and do his bit for his town.
Proud mum Kellie said: “He decided to follow in (his sister’s) footsteps.
“He decided to do a sponsored litter pick in Aspull on November 3, called the Aspull Big Clean, which will start at One House in Aspull. All the money is going to the Salvation Army and One House, split straight down the middle. So we’re helping the community as well as raising money for Leo’s project.”
She added: “He’s got extra needs, he is visually impaired, and suffered from albinism and nystagmus, so things like this are really difficult for him. He’s worked so hard on this.
“We’ve had so much support from the community, so we want to show how amazing the Aspull community is for supporting Leo.
“I’m so proud of him. We come from not very much. The fact that the children have stood up and achieved what they have, is absolutely amazing.
“We were told Leo would never be able to read or write, or do basic things that kids do.
“He’s achieving above and beyond what we ever imagined of him. As a parent, to see him have the opportunities he is having now, it’s so overwhelming for me to see.”
Leo’s fund-raising work comes as part of his entry into the Pure UK pageant competition, a faith inspired, family-focused, and community-service driven organisation that allows contestants of any age, nationality, or religion to compete in a fun, friendly environment.
To find out more about the big clean event, search “Leo-Charles Whitley Pure UK finalist” on Facebook.