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Home   Faversham   News   Article

Shock at complaints over banner outside Bull Inn in Faversham advertising charity gig for disabled teenager Thomas Knaves

24 August 2014
by Bess Browning

A pub landlady has been left stunned by complaints over a banner publicising a charity gig for a disabled Faversham teenager.

Many well-known local bands are on the bill for today's Gigs in the Garden at The Bull Inn, which is a result of weeks of hard work from licensee Sara Apps.

It is hoped the concert will raise thousands of pounds for cancer research and local lad Thomas Knaves, 13, who has severe epilepsy, learning difficulties and autism.

Landlady Sara Apps and regular Julie Knaves next to the banner. Picture Bess Browning

Landlady Sara Apps and regular Julie Knaves next to the banner. Picture: Bess Browning

But the growing excitement for the event has been tainted by a complaint to the council about a banner hanging on railings outside the pub.

Sara said: “At first I just couldn’t believe it, I was shocked. But then I was angry – how could somebody complain about a black and white banner for a charity gig?

“It is not like it is in your face. You’d think I had painted the pub in florescent colours. Some people have said the poster wasn’t big enough!

“We had let all our neighbours know about the event, posting notes through their doors, asking them to join us on the day and letting them know what was going on, so it’s not like it’s out of the blue.

Thomas Knaves with his grandma Julie Knaves

Thomas Knaves with his grandma Julie Knaves

“It’s absolutely disgraceful that somebody has complained about it – if it was a gig for the hell of it, I might understand, but it’s a gig for a Faversham boy with disabilities and cancer research.

“It makes me think that we will get more complaints on the day, if they are going to complain about something as simple as a banner. It’s just pathetic.”

“It is just really sad that somebody has had to complain when someone is trying to do something so good for my grandson, something to help him have a better life..." - Thomas’s grandmother Julie Knaves

Thomas is unable to speak and needs round-the-clock care, often suffering from five or six seizures a day.

“It is just really sad that somebody has had to complain when someone is trying to do something so good for my grandson, something to help him have a better life."

The money raised from the gig will go towards a sensory garden, helping to improve his standard of life.

Sara, who has run the Shepherd Neame pub in Tanners Street for the past 17 years with her husband Martin, said: “Thomas is very special to us here at the Bull Inn, as his family are regulars at the pub and we know him well.”

Thomas’s grandmother Julie Knaves is a regular at The Bull. She said: “I was completely stunned by it to be honest. Thomas is such a special little man and his wish is to have a sensory garden with a sensory water feature, which will really help him out.

Thomas Knaves with his grandma Julie Knaves

Thomas Knaves with his grandma Julie Knaves

“It is just really sad that somebody has had to complain when someone is trying to do something so good for my grandson, something to help him have a better life.

“I’m just so grateful to Sara for arranging the event and know it will still be a success despite this drawback.”

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