Special trike gets Sunderland schoolboy new horizons

Five-year-old Jack Rowntree who has been given a specialist trike thanks to an �870 donation from Cauldwell Children
Five-year-old Jack Rowntree who has been given a specialist trike thanks to an �870 donation from Cauldwell Children
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A youngster with serious health conditions will be able to ride outside with friends and family for the first time after he was given a specialist tricycle.

Five-year-old Jack Rowntree, from Castletown, has autism and chromosome deletion as well as Phelan-McDermid Syndrome.

I can’t really put into words what it means to Jack. He simply loves the trike. He’s been out peddling after his auntie and to see him so happy is fantastic.

Stacey Rowntree

Jack, a pupil at Columbia Grange School in Washington, hasn’t got the strength to ride a standard bicycle.

His condition has left him with low muscle tone and he struggles to climb stairs and walk for extended periods of time.

However, thanks to Caudwell Children, the national charity that provides practical and emotional support to disabled children and their families, Jack can now join in the fun too.

The charity’s dedicated fundraising support helped to raise the £870 needed to buy Jack a specialist tricycle.

His mum, 28-year-old Stacey, says that the tricycle has not only helped her son, but has also had a positive impact on the whole family, including Jack’s dad Christopher, 30.

She said: “I can’t really put into words what it means to Jack. He simply loves the trike.

“He’s been out peddling after his auntie and to see him so happy is fantastic.

“He’s finally got the freedom that he craved.

“He’s tried riding all sorts of standard bikes, but they just weren’t compatible with his condition. He needs to be securely strapped in to give him the confidence to ride on his own and this tricycle is perfect for him.”

The trike has been especially designed to assist disabled children in their physical development and rehabilitation.

The family has also benefited from Caudwell Children’s Family Services programme, which offers help, advice, and emotional support at times of crisis.

Caudwell Children’s Family Services programme was set up in the North East with funding from the Big Lottery.

Lisa Bates, who is head of applications at Caudwell Children, said: “We’re delighted that the tricycle has had such a huge impact on the whole family.”