A TEENAGE boy is looking forward to getting out and about again ­– thanks to the overwhelming generosity of the people of Bolton.

Fifteen-year-old Reece Hillyard's world has opened up again after a successful fundraising appeal set up by charity Children Today Charitable Trust to buy him a specially adapted trike.

Reece, who lives in Johnson Fold, has has autism, epilepsy and global development delay, meaning he’s unable to ride a regular bike.

Reece’s dad, Ste, said: “We were absolutely blown away by how generous everyone has been.

“We just can’t believe it and can’t thank everyone enough.

“In the past few years, walking has become a struggle for Reece.

“He’s quite unsteady on his feet and has low muscle tone, so he gets tired easily.

“He has physio regularly, but as he’s got older it’s become more apparent that walking long distances can be a struggle for him.

“It felt like his world was getting smaller, but having this trike this has opened up his world.”

The Tomcat trike, which can be adapted as Reece grows so will last him into adulthood, not only gives the family the chance to get out and about more but it will also have huge health benefits for Reece.

His mum Sharon added: “With Reece struggling to walk it’s always a bit of a worry that he won’t get enough exercise but the trike gives him this opportunity – he can peddle whilst we help steer him in the right direction.

“The trike has specialist leg braces too, which will help to keep his feet and knees from turning in.

“Reece has no danger awareness, so when we take him out there’s always a worry that he’ll run off. Having peace of mind that he’s safe and secure in the trike, is a huge weight off and will make our outings more stress-free.”

“Having the trike means we can do simple things, like taking the dog for a walk together. For a few years now, one of has had to walk the dog while the other one stays at home with Reece."The family now plan to visit Blackpool Illuminations, something which they've been unable to do for a long time.

The family contributed to the cost of the trike themselves and Children Today pledged £1,000 towards the trike, but they were still short of £1,699.00 to pay for the life-enhancing trike.

After seeing Reece’s story in the Bolton News, a number of local organisations including The Knights of the Phoenix Choir, Bolton Lions Club and Triangle Community Methodist Church, donated large sums towards the trike.

The Bolton News: Reece with his parents and members of the Phoenix Knights of Harmony Choir

(Reece with his parents and members of the The Phoenix Knights of Harmony)

Emma Prescott, Charity Director at Children Today Charitable Trust added: “We’re over the moon that we’ve been able to help this wonderful family again and hearing how happy it’s made Reece is a very good reminder of why we do what we do!

“The generosity of the people of Bolton is completely overwhelming. We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone – from the small donations from individuals, to very generous support from the likes of the choir, Bolton Lions Club and church groups – for helping Reece get his trike. Every little makes a huge difference to Reece and all the families we support.”