A newly-opened Thorpe St Andrew florist is teaming up with the MS Society to raise awareness of the condition which has left her father wheelchair-bound.

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A newly-opened Thorpe St Andrew florist is teaming up with the MS Society to raise awareness of the condition which has left her father wheelchair-bound.

Samantha Powell, who opened the Little Flower Shop on Saturday, will be collecting for the charity throughout 2013.

She hopes to use her new shop as an opportunity to make people aware of multiple sclerosis after watching her father, Stephen Youngman, struggle with it for nearly 30 years.

As well as collecting donations in her St Williams Way shop, she will promote MS Society events and host her own fundraising events.

She said the charity had helped her father in the past, and now wants to ensure support is available for other sufferers.

“He has had MS for many years, and has quite a severe case of it,” she said.

“There’s not enough work being done for MS. Some of the other causes, like cancer, are so massive that there are conditions that risk being forgotten.

“With MS being so close to me I wanted to push the cause out there.”

Mr Youngman, who is now 52, was first diagnosed in his mid-20s.

A former engineer at Lawrence and Scotts, Mr Youngman is now confined to a wheelchair and can only move his head, said Mrs Powell.

“I saw him go from using one stick, to using two sticks, to being in a wheelchair,” she said.

“He needs 24-hour care. The MS has caused so many other conditions for him.

“There needs to be more awareness, because no one seems to know how to care for MS patients.”

The Little Flower Shop is the first foray on to the high street for Mrs Powell, who retrained as a florist after losing her job as an estate agent six years ago, having previously been working by appointment only.

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