Worthing boy builds robot with a special message for his mum, an NHS worker fighting the coronavirus

A Worthing boy has built a robot with a special message for his mum, who is working on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic.

With his dad Jason, Tyler Urbacz made Bertram out of baked bean cans screwed together with other tins they had at home and completed with eyes made of torches: the original inspiration for the robot.

Tyler with Bertram and his mum Alison. Picture: Jonathan Lovell

Tyler with Bertram and his mum Alison. Picture: Jonathan Lovell

The friendly scarecrow - or scarerobo? - has been sat pride of place at the end of their drive in Elm Grove, Worthing, with a different message written on a whiteboard draped around its neck each day.

Today (March 26), that note is telling people to join in with a national applause for NHS workers outside their homes at 8pm.

Tyler said: "I think the NHS needs help, because they are risking a lot to go into work.

"The NHS is helping us; every place is shutting but they still have to go to work."

The message on Bertram to support the clap for the NHS event on Thursday, March 26 at 8pm

The message on Bertram to support the clap for the NHS event on Thursday, March 26 at 8pm

It has special relevance to the family, as Tyler's mum Alison is an NHS nurse working hard to keep people healthy during the pandemic.

His dad Jason added: "Tyler's mum is a nurse and she is going in every day, and so are thousands of others. She needs all the support she can get.

"She went out to work early in the morning and didn't get back until late at night, and she is going to be redeployed pretty soon and she doesn't know where. It is a stressful time for them as well as us."

Tyler said they had inspired a neighbour who had also made a scarecrow; theirs had a mask of Prince William's face and a note telling people to stay indoors.

Tyler with Bertram and his dad Jason. Picture: Jonathan Lovell

Tyler with Bertram and his dad Jason. Picture: Jonathan Lovell

"We are setting a trend," he said.

Jason hoped people would take heed of the note.

He said: "If we can do a little bit, just getting our neighbours and friends out to give them a round of applause, it will make us all feel a little bit better."

He added: "You may not like Boris, but it would be great if you did as he says for the next couple of months or so."

Bertram inspired neighbours to join in too

Bertram inspired neighbours to join in too

Pictures and video by Jonathan Lovell

A message from the Editor, Gary Shipton:

Thank you for reading this story on our website.

But I also have an urgent plea to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality local news on this free-to-read site and in print, please purchase a copy of our newspaper as well. With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on our town centres and many of our valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you buying a copy.

Our journalists are highly trained by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards anywhere in the world. Our content is universally trusted - as all independent research proves.

As Baroness Barran said in a House of Lords debate this week on the importance of journalists: "Not only are they a trusted source of facts, but they will have a role to play in rallying communities and getting the message across about how we can keep ourselves and our families safe, and protect our NHS. Undoubtedly, they have a critical role."

But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis. In return we will continue to forensically cover the local news - not only the impact of the virus but all the positive and uplifting news happening in these dark days.

We thank all our readers and advertisers for their understanding and support - and we wish YOU all the best in the coming weeks. Keep safe, and follow the Government advice. Thank you.