The mother of a disabled four-year-old boy in Diss says a donation from their local Co-operative store makes a “huge difference” to the family.
Fundraisers at Central England Co-op and the Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children handed over a specialist buggy earlier this month to the family of Riley Tregale, in order to help safely transport him outdoors.
The youngster, who lives with his parents and 13-year-old sister, struggles with autism, as well as the physical conditions of hypermobility, which affects the joints, and dyspraxia, a co-ordination disorder.
His mother Nancy stated they had been struggling to go outside and resorted to driving everywhere, as Riley could only walk very short distances and was no longer able to fit in a standard sized buggy.
She said: “His autism results in sensory overload which can lead to a meltdown, and as he is big enough to fit into aged seven clothes I just can’t carry him.
“Combine this with a complete lack of awareness of danger and it meant we were struggling to get out.
“Riley’s special interest is road signs. If he sees one across the road that catches his eye he will dart straight across, regardless of any traffic.”
Mrs Tregale explained the family was unable to receive funding from local authorities for a specialist buggy, and they continued for six months without one.
But they have now received support this month, after the occupational therapist who helps Riley suggested that they apply for funding from Newlife, which provides services for the benefit of children across the UK dealing with disabilities and terminal illnesses.
“It is making a huge difference in that we now have a choice about where to go and what to do with Riley,” Mrs Tregale added.
“It is good for his sister too as we can now do more things as a family.”
After being donated the buggy, the family used it for the first time to take Riley to the High Lodge Forest Centre in Thetford.
Rosie Cole, manager of the Co-op store in Rickinghall, near Diss, said: “Working with Newlife has provided a great opportunity for us to help make life easier for youngsters like Riley.
“Central England Co-operative takes fundraising to help local communities very seriously, and we are committed to making a positive impact in the local areas in which we trade.”
For more about the Newlife Foundation’s work, please go to www.newlifecharity.co.uk