Can you help us buy Ben’s dream bike?

Ready to take the next step: Joanne Allen with her son Ben Harcourt-Allen.

Ready to take the next step: Joanne Allen with her son Ben Harcourt-Allen.

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EVERY step six-year-old Ben Harcourt-Allen takes is a huge milestone.

Now his family are asking our readers to help him conquer another hurdle... being able to ride a bike.

Ben, who has spastic diplegia, has been measured for a special tricycle which will allow him to keep his feet firmly on the pedals.

But the made-to-measure tricycle costs £1,232 and mum Joanne Allen is appealing for help to make Ben’s dream come true.

Joanne, of Bourne Road, Spalding, said: “It would mean we could go out as a family. Anywhere we go Ben has to go in a wheelchair and we can’t go on bikes because it’s not fair on him.

“We avoid going to some places at times because of it.”

Spastic diplegia is a form of cerebral palsy and has left Ben, a pupil at Spalding’s St John the Baptist Primary School, unable to walk unaided.

Joanne said: “We realised something was wrong when he was about five months old because the child minder said he should have been sitting up but he couldn’t. “I pushed to see a paediatrician and she told us what he had.

“Since then every little milestone is amazing. When other babies could crawl, he could only drag his legs behind him.”

For about two years, Ben has been receiving botox treatment to his legs, which has helped him take six steps – a feat his family never thought possible.

“We bought him a bike when he was about three,” explained Joanne. “We tried to get him on the bike to use his legs but he can not keep his feet on the pedals.”

Ben’s physiotherapist put him forward to try out a special tricycle, which would give him all the support he needs for his legs and to keep his feet on the pedals.

“He loved it,” said Joanne. “I could not get him off it. It was amazing to see it.”

To kick start the appeal, we’re pledging £600 from the Lincolnshire Free Press Children’s Fund.

The fund aims to help anyone under the age of 18 living within our coverage area, including those who need help with things like sports equipment or musical instruments.

To help Ben get his dream tricycle, you can donate to our fund by dropping donations into our office in The Crescent, Spalding, in envelopes marked Ben’s Appeal or send a cheque to the Lincolnshire Free Press Children’s Fund, to the address on page two, again marked for Ben’s Appeal.