A TEENAGER who thought no-one would celebrate his birthday was “overwhelmed” to receive hundreds of cards and be thrown a surprise party.

Ethan Welch, 15, has mental health conditions and has only ever had two birthday parties in his life as each year children have cancelled.

So his mum, Tara Scott, decided to “put her heart on her sleeve” and ask her social media friends to make Ethan’s 15th birthday one to remember by sending him cards and throwing him a party.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

Birthday - Ethan's surprise birthday party

Pictures: Debbie Burrows  

After posting the social media plea, Ethan was sent more than 200 cards by residents, children and families from nearby and further afield in America and Germany.

Then on Saturday, Ethan’s family took him to The Walls, in Mistley, where about 100 East Anglian Bikers and dozens of residents were waiting to throw him a surprise party.

Tara, who works at Scoffers Bakery, in Manningtree, said: “It was absolutely brilliant. We met everyone at The Walls and they all shouted out surprise. The smile on Ethan’s face said it all - he was so overwhelmed.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

Support - Ethan, 15, and his sister Yasmin Welch, 16

“Everyone gave him birthday cards and presents and he shook their hands and met the motorbikers.”

Ethan, who attends Market Field School, in Elmstead Market, went off with the bikers on a trike for about an hour and came back with the group to have tea and cake at Scoffers Bakery.

Tara said: “If you would have seen me on the day you would have known the reason I was not wearing mascara. There was plenty of community support and we saw loads of people at the shop and at The Walls.

“Ethan said it was the best birthday he’s ever had and the organisers of the motorbike ride said he is not alone anymore.”

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

Happy - Ethan on a trike during his party 

The bikers made Ethan a member of their group and want to bring him along on future rides.

Tara said: “I want to thank everyone who took the time and effort to send a card or come to Ethan’s surprise birthday.

She added: “There should be more awareness for people with mental health disorders and people are quick to judge others straight away, but they need to take a step back and look at the bigger picture.

“Everyone should be accepted no matter who you are, what you look like and where you are from.”