Brand new trike a boost for teenager

23 Mar Brand new trike a boost for teenager

SPECIALIST equipment bought by the Sunshine Fund can improve life in all sorts of ways, as the smiling face of Jamie Johnson Smith shows.

The teenager recently received a new trike thanks to our charity and he is already making the most of the independence it is giving him.

Far more than a bicycle or plaything, such trikes can bring serious benefits in helping to improve fitness levels and Jamie’s mother Karen said how much her son enjoys riding it.

When he becomes more confident, he will also be going out it with his sister and his friends, she said.

Jamie, from Morpeth in Northumberland, has Down’s syndrome and a thyroid problem and his mother said exercise is important in helping to keep his weight down, especially as he has twice had heart surgery.

“But it is difficult getting Jamie to take exercise if he doesn’t feel like it,” said Karen, who herself suffers from multiple sclerosis.

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“He loved having a trike at a holiday to Center Parcs and he managed surprisingly well and really, really enjoyed the independence.”

It was all the 16-year-old wanted for Christmas but trikes cost more than £1,200 so it was thanks to sponsorship from a Newcastle law firm that Jamie now has his own.

Winns Solicitors has sponsored this year’s Sunshine Fund’s Great North Run running vests for the second time and it was the money raised from their vests last year that has meant such a boost for Jamie who has since gone along to meet the company’s staff.

Amy Thompson, digital marketing manager at Winns, said: “We’re really pleased to be able to help support such a great local charity in the Sunshine Fund.

“The work that they do is fantastic and it was great to meet Jamie and see how the money raised last year has helped him.

“Seeing how happy he was about his brand new trike reaffirms how important the work that the Sunshine Fund do is.”

She added: “We’re looking forward to continuing our support this year, especially taking part in the Sunshine Run and sponsoring their team in the Great North Run.”

The charity’s fundraising co-ordinator, Rebecca Jama, said she wanted to offer “huge thanks” to Winns for its continued support.

She also enjoyed the opportunity of meeting Jamie and hearing about the difference his trike has made and she said other local children like him will be supported by this year’s Great North Run.

The Sunshine Fund has limited places still available and anyone interested in running for Team Sunshine can register with Rebecca by calling 0191 2016066 or emailingrebecca.jama@ncjmedia.co.uk

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