Wee Oliver in running for NI Spirit Award

Oliver Dickey with Judith Ball, Coleraine Store Director
Oliver Dickey with Judith Ball, Coleraine Store Director

The borough will be rooting for wee Oliver Dickey when he and his family attend the Sunday Life Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards with Specsavers this Friday night.

The remarkable Coleraine schoolboy is one of five shortlisted in the Overcoming Adversity category at the prestigious awards ceremony which will be held in the Culloden Hotel at Cultra.

Oliver was diagnosed with spastic diplegia, a form of cerebral palsy when he was just 18 months old. The condition rendered him unable to walk and Oliver faced life in a wheelchair.

Despite initial hesitation from doctors in the UK, his parents Neil and Charlene set up the Help Wee Oliver Walk Appeal, fundraising tirelessly to enable their son, who attends Millburn Primary to undergo life-changing treatment.

Through the generous support of family, friends and the community, the Dickeys reached their target and an astonishing £91,000 was raised.

The surgery, carried out in America, was a huge success and Oliver astounded everyone by taking his first steps in July last year.

Oliver’s journey did not end there. He is still receiving intensive and often gruelling physiotherapy sessions to further build his strength. However, in the style of a true champion, Oliver never gives up despite the pain and remains determined to overcome his condition.

UTV will be recording all of the action from the evening with hosts Pamela Ballentine and Frank Mitchell. Taking to the stage as entertainment for the evening will be Louis Walsh’s hot new boyband Hometown who are tipped to be the next big thing and comic John Linehan aka May McFettridge.