Finlay has a summer to remember thanks to new wheelchair bike

Finlay Woodcock-Daniels has had a summer to remember after the Steve Morgan Foundation paid £7,545 for a new wheelchair bike.

The 15-year-old from Hoole, Chester, has cerebral palsy and was unable to go on cycling trips with his mum Alexa and siblings Rafferty (14) and 11-year-old Freya.

The family found the Covid lockdowns very challenging and approached the Steve Morgan Foundation for help because they wanted to get out and about more on their bikes.

Thanks to a £7,545 Enable Fund grant, Finlay’s family have been able to buy a top-of-the-range Van Raam OPair wheelchair bike that has given the teenager a new lease of life.

The Van Raam OPair wheelchair bike is designed to allow children or adults who cannot cycle on their own due to their disability.

Mum Alexa said: “We’re so appreciative of the Steve Morgan Foundation. The wheelchair bike has really enhanced Finlay’s and our lives. It’s allowed Finlay to feel more included.”

Finlay was born prematurely at 31 weeks weighing just 3lb 12oz and spent six weeks in a neo-natal unit. He was diagnosed with cerebral palsy by the time of his first birthday.

The youngster needs a wheelchair to get about and can ride an adapted trike very short distances but his family has found it increasingly difficult as he’s got older.

Mum Alexa said: “Finlay is a real chatterbox and loves life. The lockdowns made it really difficult for him and we were so limited on what we could do.

Finlay Woodcock-Daniels with his siblings Zara and Rafferty and mum Alexa

“As Finlay got bigger we had to stop our cycling trips and we needed to find a solution so we could all cycle together.”

Finlay attends Dorin Park School in Chester and during Covid was also unable to attend his regular hydrotherapy and hippotherapy sessions, which relieve his stiffness.

In desperation his family identified a device called a Van Raam OPair wheelchair bike that would help give him more independence.

While an average child’s bike costs £100 a specially adapted one like the Van Raam OPair wheelchair bike is around £7,500.

Alexa said: “It splits into two. You have to cycle at the back with the wheelchair at the front. If you need to stop for example you detach the equipment and reattach it when you go off again.

“We got it at the beginning of the summer holidays and the family has been able to go off cycling together. His siblings have really enjoyed cycling around with him and Finlay was really happy when he saw it. It’s been brilliant.”

The Enable Fund supports people of all ages in financial hardship, who are in need of specialised equipment, including mobility aids, wheelchairs, buggies, wheelchairs and trikes

Steve Morgan CBE, who founded the Steve Morgan Foundation in 2001, said: “Finlay is exactly the type of person the Enable Fund was designed to create. I’m delighted that the new wheelchair bike has been able to give him and his family more independence.”

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