‘Life-changing’ tricycle will help little boy play with his friends

Gabriel with mum Robyn holding the tricyclebrother Cristian aged 5 dad Jean-Pierre far right blue shirt and June Whitfield centre SUS-170824-103507001
Gabriel with mum Robyn holding the tricyclebrother Cristian aged 5 dad Jean-Pierre far right blue shirt and June Whitfield centre SUS-170824-103507001

A six-year-old boy with cerebral palsy who couldn’t play outside with his friends has received a ‘life-changing’ specialist tricyle.

Gabriel Ferreira, from Hailsham, has poor balance and limited mobility. Although he can walk his leg muscles get sore easily and he has limited independence. But this week, thanks to the support of two charities, Gabriel was presented with a brand new trike by legendary actress Dame June Whitfield at the Sloan Club in Chelsea.

Dame June Whitfield with Gabriel Ferreira SUS-170824-103352001

Dame June Whitfield with Gabriel Ferreira SUS-170824-103352001

Mum Robyn said her son was delighted. “Gabriel knew nothing about it,” she said. “He was already excited as my husband, Jean-Pierre, and I told him that we were going on a day out to London. When Dame June appeared with the tricycle, and then handed it over to him, he couldn’t believe it. He was so happy and he had a huge smile on his face. The tricycle will make such a difference to his wellbeing and health.”

The tricycle has been specially designed to assist disabled children in their physical development and rehabilitation. It has been engineered to make pedalling that much easier so whilst Gabriel is having fun he will also be improving his core strength and co-ordination.

Robyn said that Caudwell Children, the national charity that provides practical and emotional support to disabled children and their families, was instrumental in raising the money for the tricycle.

“It was heart-breaking to see Gabriel missing out on so much so I contacted Caudwell Children to see if they could support us,” she said. “They recommended the specialist tricycle but the one that they identified as best suiting Gabriel’s needs cost an eye watering £2,400, which was way beyond our budget. So they created a Just Giving page for Gabriel and organised a media appeal. The local community really got behind the appeal.”