International stars to perform Songs for Steve in a bid to help Preston dad recover from life-changing stroke

Britain’s Got Talent winners Collabro and Jai McDowell are among the stars joining forces to help a Preston man who suffered a devastating stroke last summer.

Saturday, 14th March 2020, 11:45 am
Steve Nicholls from Fulwood who suffered a stroke aged 58. Pictured with wife Cheryl

Fifty-eight-year-old Steve Nicholls from Fulwood suffered a massive stroke caused by an undiagnosed heart condition in July.

Steve had only retired eight months earlier after working for 41 years for BAE Systems at Samlesbury and Warton and was fit and healthy cycling up to 60 miles two or three times a week.

Following his stroke Steve was left with a facial and dense right sided weakness. He currently has no movement in his right arm and hand, and very limited movement in his right leg. He also has expressive dysphasia which means he struggles to speak and express himself.

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BGT winners Collabro

Steve’s wife Cheryl, said the last eight months have been devastating for them both and their sons Cameron, 23, and Spencer, 21.

“We never, ever expected something like this to happen to us,” she said. “Steve has always been fit and healthy and one of those people who just doesn’t sit still.

“For your husband to then be hit by something so severe as a stroke is devastating and something we have had to learn to deal with.

“We’re very positive though and if we just sit down and do nothing then nothing will happen. Steve is working so hard to improve every day and is determined to get back on his feet.”

Steve Nicholls with wife Cheryl and sons Cameron, 23, and Spencer, 21 in happier times

On Saturday, March 28, Songs for Steve will take place at Preston Grasshopper’s to raise money for Steve’s continued rehabilitation and the Stroke Rehab Therapy Unit on Rookwood B Ward unit at Chorley Hospital where he was treated.

The fundraiser will see performances from the world’s most successful musical theatre group Collabro, fellow BGT winner and West End star Jai McDowell, singer-songwriter AJ Brown, vintage vocal harmony trio The Jazzabelles and many more. Comedian Phil Walker will host the night. It has been organised with help from live concert promoters Cuffe and Taylor, where Cheryl works.

Cheryl added: “We are a really close family and the boys, my mum Pam and our family and friends continue to be incredibly supportive. We couldn’t get through this without them and we are very, very grateful.

“Songs for Steve is going to be a great way of raising money and I am very lucky to work with some fabulous people who are giving up their time to perform for free as well as the many people who are helping make the night happen.

Steve Nicholls after his stroke with wife Cheryl and son Spencer

“The therapy rehab’ team at Chorley Hospital were amazing with Steve and we cannot thank them enough for everything they have done. We do need to raise money for everything we still need to do to help Steve, but we also want the money from the night to be split with the hospital unit so they can continue to do their fantastic work and help all the other people out there like Steve.”

Before his stroke, Steve was also a regular at Grasshoppers and friends there organised a JustGiving page and charity rugby match to help buy him an electric wheelchair which will give him more independence to get around.

An initial target of £1,500 was quickly smashed with £2,775 now having been raised which will help pay for the wheelchair as well as support the cost of ongoing rehabilitation and the extensive home renovations that have been necessary.

Steve said: “I am overwhelmed with the support we have received. This has been a horrible time for us all, but I am determined to get through this and with the strength of Cheryl, Cameron, Spencer and all our family I will.”

Steve was treated at Chorley Hospital for 14 weeks. He has been at home in Fulwood since October but requires daily rehabilitation in the form of speech therapy, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and psychotherapy,

Cheryl has had to take leave from work since the stroke happened but is planning to return in the next couple of weeks as they now have a full-time carer to help Steve.

The JustGiving page for Steve is still active and people can donate by clicking here

Last remaining concert tickets are on sale now for £10 from www.universe.com