Members of the Orange Army -dedicated to clubbing events arranged by promoters Clockwork Orange – have marched through a £7,000 target in a fundraiser for Ramsgate’s Joe Shaw.
The music enthusiasts took just a week to bust through the target with donations now at £8,100. The money will pay for a special standing frame to aid Joe in his recovery following a horrific attack in March 2018.
Joe, now 27, suffered serious head injuries in an unprovoked attack in Ramsgate town centre. The ferocity of the assault meant Joe had to be transferred to Kings College Hospital in London, heavily sedated and in the critical care unit in a coma, breathing through a ventilator.
The severity of his injuries left Joe unable to walk, speak or complete many basic tasks for himself. Joe communicates by spelling words out on a letter board but he is now making progress with speaking and with movement.
An operation earlier this year helped reform Joe’s skull, with a further reconstructive operation in the planning now.
At the time of the attack Joe was in Ramsgate for a visit after his visa ran out in Australia. The self-employed plasterer had only been back in the UK for 4 weeks and was raising money return to Oz.
Joe had been staying at a rehabilitation centre in Herne Bay but his determination, and sustained fundraising to help with specialist equipment, finally saw Joe return to the home of parents Nancy and Trevor in August this year.
The Orange Army have taken Joe under their wing after one of Joe’s carers, Patrick Kennedy-Sanigar, posted to the Clockwork Orange group to ask for a little help.
He said: I had a pinky promise with Joe that I would take him to Clock Stock at Chelmsford this year. I bought my ticket but that does not come with VIP access, meaning you can use the special needs loos.
“So, I told the Orange Army that Joe needs two people with him and what I wanted was the VIP access for him so he could use those loos.
“I explained how when we are in his specially converted van and I am driving we listen to my Clockwork Orange playlist.”
The Army responded with member Alan Thomas, backed by organisers including Danny Gould and Andy Manston, setting up a fundraising page.
The donations flowed in thick and fast and will pay for the frame as well as all the access needed at the Clock Stock festival in June. A further fundraiser to get Joe and a support team out to Ibiza will follow with Patrick determined to see Joe and a massive crowd of the Orange Army paddling together in the Mediterranean Sea next July.
Norman Cook, aka DJ Fatboy Slim, is one of those who have donated to the cause and he has also sent a personal message to Joe.
Patrick met Joe when he was staying at Strode Park rehabilitation centre. They first crossed paths in the Herne Smuggler’s Inn. A friendship bloomed and Joe asked Patrick to join his caring team.
Patrick said: “I was seeing Joe at Strode Park but the team finally managed to get Joe home thanks to all the fundraising for specialist equipment by people like Vicky. That means he has two people with him almost all the time. He is really making progress now.
“The local authority is looking at making modifications to the house and, as a former architect, I have told Nancy I will help with that in any way I can.
“As he progresses there will b more specialist equipment needed by the standing frame was the most important thing now.
“I am just a small cog in a big wheel and actually Joe is as much an inspiration to me, I have called him my muse. He is a very determined young man and has an impact on everyone who meets him.”
Updating the Orange Army on the epic fundraiser Alan said: “Without any real knowledge of how this would work out we as a group decided to try and make a difference in a young man’s life. As a group we didn’t care that we didn’t know the man or anything about him, we all decided that we would offer our support money time and love.
“I have spoken to strangers online this week who are now friends, I have been amazed at the outpour of support and togetherness shown. It’s been emotional, exhausting but above all fantastic and heart-warming.
“Without the platform that is Clockwork Orange this would not have happened. It provides us all with a place to go, people to share it with, things to look forward to, a second chance to relive our youth.
“Patrick Kennedy-Sanigar, my new mate and the unsung hero of a community, is the guy that does the real work with Joe along with his team and Joe’s family. He may not have a cape and his pants on the outside of his trousers but he’s every bit a hero.”
Further fundraisers have been organised, including a ‘Clockies’ event in Cambridge later this month that Joe will attend. A new appeal to get Joe and his team to Ibiza is also due to be launched by Orange Army.