A DISABLED little boy can finally play outside with his friends after receiving a specialist tricycle from a disabled children’s charity.
Elijah Hayles, who lives in Horninglow, was diagnosed with autism when he was two years old, and also suffers with a condition that has left him without the coordination to ride a regular bike.
Although this wasn’t through lack of trying – desperate to play with his brother, Isaac, and sisters Sheree and Phoebi, the 10-year-old has often attempted to ride their bikes and crashed into walls and neighbours’ cars, with his mum, Melony, left to patch him up and foot the bill.
That was until Caudwell Children, a charity that provides support to disabled children and their parents, stepped in.
They provided the £1,530 funding to enable him to receive a specialist tricycle, which has been specially designed to assist disabled children in their physical development and rehabilitation.
And Melony, 40, has seen the change in Elijah already.
She said: “He’s really enjoying it, it’s the best thing that he’s ever had. It puts my mind at ease too as he’s safer on the tricycle.
“This tricycle has allowed him to have time with his brother and sisters which he couldn’t before. They’d be riding around and he couldn’t participate – he’d just have to watch.
“He was always left out, whereas now he more freedom – he can do the sort of things other children his age are doing.
“We’ve got lots of bike rides planned now, I can’t wait for them to break up from school so we can get out.”
Melony found out about the funding provided by Caudwell Children through other organisations and charities which Elijah had become involved with.
She contacted the organisation directly to see if they could help.
Trudi Beswick, chief executive of Caudwell Children, said: “I’m delighted to see that this piece of equipment is not only benefiting Elijah, but also having a positive impact on the whole family. Unbelievably, there are an estimated 70,000 children in the UK who would benefit from the correct mobility equipment. Thanks to donations from members of the public we’ve been able to ensure that Elijah is no longer side-lined.”