Disabled Kessingland tot can’t wait to get moving on specially adapted trike
Getting around is something that most of us take for granted.
But life is not quite so easy for three-year-old Riley Slater.
The Kessingland youngster has a form of cerebral palsy which has left him with low muscle tone from the waist down and means he is unable to walk – forcing him to shuffle on his bottom to get around.
However, his future is now looking much brighter thanks to the fund-raising efforts of his family.
Knowing the NHS would not fund the specialist equipment he needs to get out and about, Riley’s parents, Scott and Julie, and his grandparents Colin and Trisha Plummer, set out to raise the money themselves.
Thanks to their efforts, he has just been given a walking frame and his family are now hopeful they will raise enough to pay for a special £1,800 trike that will enable the bubbly youngster to enjoy himself as much as possible with other children when he joins a local nursery in the autumn.
The main fund-raising push saw Mr and Mrs Plummer and seven family friends take part in a sponsored bike ride from the Marram Green centre in Kessingland to Southwold Pier, raising about £1,000 in the process.
Money has also been raised from internet donations and from coffee mornings, including one held at Marram Green where Mrs Plummer works, and another organised by Mrs Slater’s friends, Kelly Johnson and Sarah Cook.
As a result of all the fund-raising, Riley’s parents are now hopeful they will have enough to buy the trike very soon.
But as Riley continues to grow, more money will be needed to purchase larger walking frames and trikes to ensure he can stay mobile.
Mrs Slater, 32, of Whites Lane, Kessingland, said: “It would mean the world to Riley and to us if he gets his trike.
“He had a go on a trike at the Newberry childrens centre (at the James Paget University Hospital) and he absolutely loved it. He just kept laughing while he was on it.
“Having the trike will improve his confidence and means he can get around more.”
Riley was born at 29 weeks and four days, resulting in him spending six weeks at the James Paget. His condition is the result of his premature birth.
His grandparents were among those who cycled the 24 miles from Kessingland to Southwold seafront on Sunday, July 20, and Riley was on hand to cheer them on.
Mrs Plummer, 57, who works at Marram Green and lives in Coopers Drive, Kesssingland, said: “Riley is a very happy boy and as his grandparents, we would do anything to help him.
“It would be wonderful to see him out and about on his own trike – we can’t wait to see him on it.”
Riley’s family said they wanted to thank everyone who had helped raise money for his walking frame and trike, made donations or supported their events.
Mr and Mrs Plummer said they were also grateful to local drivers for showing such patience when the group cycled the 24 miles to Southwold.
Mrs Plummer said: “Sorry to all you car drivers for holding you up but it was for a very good cause, our grandson Riley!”
To make a donation to help buy a trike for Riley, visit www.gofundme.com/c9qrhg