THE MUM of a severely disabled man who died last year has praised the ‘priceless place’ in Solihull her son went to socialise.
Paul Darby’s funeral saw mourners donate £1,500 to Solihull Life Opportunities (SOLO), a charity for people with learning disabilities to take part in leisure activities.
SOLO has offices in Chelmsley Wood and runs clubs across the borough. Paul was 37 when he died of pneumonia on July 22.
His mum Olivia, from Earlswood, had a tough year as she battled cancer and lost her son.
She said: “Paul was lovely. I desperately miss him. We had heard of a youth club in Green Lane. Paul went and just liked to watch, he started going when he was about 14. It was for more able bodied people with Down’s Syndrome and things like that.
“We got in touch with the education department and they helped us developed this club for the severely handicapped. It was called Open Door to begin with. Paul was being really looked after, and it gave my husband and I a break.
“I would like it acknowledged on behalf of Paul.”
Jyoti Evans from SOLO said: “We support members so parents get respite. We hope to organise a nightclub event, a members ball and other special nights for members to look forward to.
“It’s just about reaching out and making sure people have a good social experience and have fun.”
Olivia added: “I want to thank them all. They need support. It’s a priceless place. They had a bus that collected people once a week and I think they have extended it.
“So many people went to the funeral and it’s nice to show them where the money went.
“We didn’t want to put Paul in a home and up until that Tuesday night he was OK. He just had a bad night. He made his mark in a lot of ways.”
For more information, visit www.solihullsolo.org