A mum has thanked the Southport charity which gave her disabled daughter a new trike on her 18th birthday.
Jackie Cockwill said that her daughter, Stephanie, cried tears of joy when she received the gift, after what has been a difficult year for the family.
Stephanie’s sister Kayleigh, 23, died in Queenscourt hospice earlier this year after being diagnosed with cancer.
Stephanie suffers from serious learning difficulties and has the mental age of a five-year-old. She attends Merefield school in Ainsdale.
The Community Link Foundation recently surprised Stephanie with the trike at her birthday party at Park Golf Club. It was the charity’s first gift.
Jackie said: “The trike has given Stephanie a new lease of life. We take her to Hesketh Park where she can ride it safely. She loves it.”
Stephanie had asked for her own trike after a summer holiday at Centre Parcs, where she enjoyed cycling.
Jackie, who works part-time as a dinner lady at Meols Cop High , added: “We were all meant to go to Centre Parcs in June for a family break.
“Sadly, Kayleigh passed away before we were due to go, and Centre Parcs kindly rearranged our holiday to August, where we all rode bikes for first time in years.
“Stephanie pleasantly surprised us with her confidence, her independence and change in attitude from riding a trike. She was like a different little girl, having fun, laughing and racing everyone. She loved it and has talked non-stop about having her own.”
Karen Watkins, speaking on behalf of the CLF, said: “We were delighted to present the trike to Steph and especially on her 18th birthday.
“I know her family have been through a dreadful time after losing her sister Kayleigh earlier this year and we just hope that this bike can bring back a little smile to her face.
“We would also like to thank Chris from C.J. Cycles in Kensington Road for sourcing the bike and to all the people who have attending the events we have staged so far as without them or our sponsors we would not be able to do such a fabulous thing.”
The Community Link Foundation was set up by David Barron to enhance the lives of Southport people. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org