A DIETING group has been given extra motivation to shed the pounds as members aim to lose weight in aid of a severely brain-damaged boy in Christchurch.

Patrick Conyard, aged seven, has suffered from epileptic seizures since birth, which have left him with quad cerebral palsy, visual impairment, no movement in any of his limbs and development delay.

Mother Gemma Conyard says that it is difficult to find activities for her son that stimulate him and which he really enjoys.

However, when staff at The Ark in Poole Park whizzed Patrick around its ice rink in a wheelchair, his 35-year-old mum said that all changed.

“There was a look of pure exhilaration on his face that I had never seen before.

“He just loves speed,” she added.

This inspired the full-time carer to look into getting a specially adapted bike for her boy to indulge his new hunger for moving at a fast pace.

The adapted tandem style cycle has a wheelchair attached to the front so Patrick can enjoy the wind in his hair while his mum pedals.

At £5,500 the bike does not come cheap, but Burton’s branch of Slimming World, which Ms Conyard attends, will be holding a sponsored ‘slimathon’ until April 5 to help raise funds.

It follows a sponsored walk between Boscombe and Bournemouth piers last month when Patrick’s friends and family raised around £2,000 for the cause.

Ms Conyard said Patrick had loved the sensation when they tried out the bike and that it will vastly improve his quality of life. “Patrick was extremely excited, laughing and clapping,” she added.