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Ellesmere Port schoolgirl test drives her special new therapy car

Eleanor Hawkins has cerebral palsy and will use the car for essential exercise

Seven year-old Eleanor Hawkins from Ellesmere Port in her new therapy car

A seven-year-old from Ellesmere Port has received a new therapy car courtesy of the charity Demand Design and Manufacture for Disability.

Eleanor Hawkins recently outgrew the Little Tikes car she used to get essential exercise and to have fun outdoors. Eleanor has cerebral palsy and can’t ride a bike, so this custom made car will help her to stay active and get the physical therapy she needs.

The charity Demand Design and Manufacture for Disability has been helping disabled people to live life their way since 1980.

Their expert team of design engineers make from scratch and modify disability equipment to exactly suit someone’s needs, meaning they can enjoy a new experience, gain independence and be empowered to live life however they choose.

Eleanor’s cerebral palsy affects the movement and control of her muscles and means she needs intensive physical therapy to develop the coordination and strength in her legs.

Since she is unable to pedal a bike or trike like many children of her age, her car is the perfect way for her to keep her muscles moving and have fun at the same time.

After school Eleanor will head straight to the garden to play with her beloved Little Tikes car. For hours she drives it around the ‘track’ in her garden and will stop to refuel at her special petrol pump.

Without Demand’s help, Eleanor would miss out on valuable opportunities to get her muscles moving and to develop the strength and coordination that will go on to benefit her throughout her life.

Eleanor’s mum Susan said: “Eleanor is over the moon with her new car. We just didn’t know what we were going to do with her having outgrown her original car.

“We’d looked for something bigger but nothing was suitable. She needed a supportive seat, no pedals and something that will last as she gets even taller! We found out about Demand online and were thrilled they could help us.

“Eleanor sees her car as simply great fun, but we know she’s getting the opportunity to develop her strength and coordination too. Having access to a suitable therapy tool that she also loves is more than we could have hoped for.”

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