New tricycle allows Orpington teen to play outside
An 13-year-old boy from Orpington, who has cerebral palsy, a condition that causes stiffness in his legs, has received a specialist tricycle that will allow him to ride outside with his family and friends for the first time.
Benjamin is a permanent wheelchair user and his condition has left him without the strength to ride a standard bicycle. He’s been a disappointed onlooker when his family and friends have enjoyed their regular bike rides around their local parks.
But now, thanks to Caudwell Children, Benjamin can now join in the fun too.
Dedicated fundraising support from the charity has helped to raise the £2,500 needed to buy a specialist tricycle for the Marjorie McClure High School pupil.
Benjamin’s mum, Susan, aged 51, says that the tricycle has not only helped her son but has also had a positive impact on the whole family. She said: “I can’t really put into words what it means to Benjamin. He simply loves the trike. He’s been out peddling along with his dad with a huge smile on his face.
“It’s got everyone out of the house and is helping us all to get regular exercise.”
Susan says that the fitness benefits of the tricycle are as important as the fun for Benjamin. As she explained: “The new tricycle has been engineered to make pedalling that much easier, and now he can pedal everywhere.
“Before the tricycle he had lots of energy but he was unable to do any physical exercise to burn it off. But that’s now changed and he’ll be dong loads of exercise without really noticing it.”
The tricycle has been designed to assist physical development and rehabilitation and it has continued to fuel Benjamin’s interest in transport. As dad, Tim, aged 46, explained: “Benjamin loves buses and trucks and we’ve been to nearly all the transport museums that there are.
“We’ve visited most of the London bus depots and garages and he’s even been through the washer on a bus. He also plays on bus simulators and memorises bus routes!
“And now he wants to take his new tricycle on the bus! Whilst I don’t think we’ll be able to do that the tricycle has really focused Benjamin’s mind on getting out more. It’s fantastic and we can’t thank Caudwell Children enough.”
Lisa Bates, Head of Applications at Caudwell Children said: “We’re delighted that the tricycle has had such a huge impact on the whole family. It not only provides vital physical therapy but also develops an increased sense of independence and social inclusion, which is so important for children of Benjamin’s age.
“Unfortunately, these highly specialised pieces of equipment come at a price, but with the continued support of the local community we can help even more children like Benjamin.”
You can donate to Caudwell Children and help other children like Benjamin here.