Belfast Telegraph

Love for Lego helps disabled DJ put smiles on children's faces

Desmond Calvert and mum Heather
Desmond Calvert and mum Heather
Desmond Calvert displays some of his creations
Mark Bain

By Mark Bain

A man with severe disabilities is sharing his love of Lego with schoolchildren.

Born with no hands and no lower legs, Desmond Calvert, from Portstewart, has refused to let disability get in the way of his favourite hobby.

Desmond - DJ to his friends - enjoys sharing his passion for Lego with children at schools on the north coast.

For the past year, the 45-year-old has voluntarily been holding workshops at primary schools, showcasing his amazing Lego building techniques, talking about his disability and inspiring kids to leave the PlayStation and X-Box to one side.

Now he is hoping to expand his Lego building talks by purchasing a trailer to haul some of his 110,000 individual miniature bricks, building tables and wheelchair around.

DJ was born five weeks early and his arms and legs didn't fully develop, but he has been amazed at how his skills have been received.

"If someone told me last year I'd be spending my time going around schools building Lego I'd have laughed at them," he said. "Friends told me I should start to show the world what I can do, but I thought what? I'm just building Lego! How wrong I was!"

As his reputation spread, more invitations arrived.

"It's been a great experience for me and I'd love to put many more smiles on more faces," he added.

"But I do this voluntarily and can't afford the type of trailer I would need. If anyone out there would like to help, in any small way, I'd certainly appreciate the opportunity to take this idea to more schools and youth groups."

DJ's love affair with Lego started when he was aged eight.

He added: "I can remember getting my first Lego set. I was fascinated. I had to teach myself how to manage putting the bricks together, but I was addicted. It was a challenge for me, and it still is, but I like the challenge and I've been determined ever since not to be beaten by anything.

"That's the message I want to get out there to children. Many of the schools I've visited have now started Lego clubs and you can see the joy on their faces. They don't even realise they're learning new skills."

To assist DJ's plans to expand his school visits, contact his Facebook page at Desmond James Calvert

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