Hellesdon teenager taking part in Tour de Broads charity bike ride for Norfolk and Norwich Association for the Blind

Matthew Reil (at the front in a green top) who is cycling this year's Tour de Broads 25-mile challen

Matthew Reil (at the front in a green top) who is cycling this year's Tour de Broads 25-mile challenge for the Norfolk and Norwich Association for the Blind. Picture: SENT IN BY NEWMAN ASSOCATES PR - Credit: NEWMAN ASSOCIATES PR

A teenager will be cycling across the Norfolk countryside for a charity which has given his partially sighted mother a new lease of life.

Matthew Reil, 14, from Meadow Way in Hellesdon, Norwich, is raising money for the Norfolk and Norwich Association for the Blind (NNAB) by taking part in this year's Tour de Broads challenge.

He is aiming to complete the 25-mile route from Great Yarmouth to St Olaves, via Somerleyton, on April 30.

The Hellesdon High School teenager has already raised £854 for the NNAB through charity bike rides and he hopes to break the £1,000 mark through this year's challenge.

His mother, Carol Reil, 49, who was registered as partially sighted in 2002, said: 'The NNAB is like an extended family and has given me my independence and life back. When I was registered blind I felt like I had suffered a big bereavement.

'I think it is really great that young people are interested in charity and fundraising.'

The former Salvation Army office worker was born with eyesight problems and now cannot see anything from her left eye and has difficulty seeing out of her right eye.

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Mrs Reil first received help from the NNAB four years ago and now takes part in arts, crafts and flower arranging classes at the charity's Magpie Road base, and enjoys shopping and theatre trips.

She also volunteers for the NNAB by collecting raffle prizes and doing administrative work.

'My life now has a purpose; before I got help from the NNAB, it was so daunting being a mum of this little boy and feeling that I couldn't cope. I went to a very dark place,' Mrs Reil added.

Her son said: 'Mum still struggles with sight loss but now she feels that she has something to look forward to. Because of that, I wanted to do something to raise money for the charity to say thank you.'

The NNAB was set up 212 years ago and receives no statutory funding.

To get involved in the NNAB Tour de Broads team call Donna Minto on 01603 629558 or email fund@nnab.org.uk

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