A YOUNG boy with severe autism and mobility problems may soon be left housebound unless his family can raise money to buy a specialist buggy.

The parents of eight-year-old Coby Stafford, from Undy, have spent years fundraising for local disabled children's causes, but are now in need themselves.

They are asking for the community to help them raise the £2,725 they need to ensure Coby can continue to spend quality time with his family outside of their home.

Coby's mum, Tracy, said: “Coby is severely autistic and has hypermobility as well as limited speech – but he is a happy, vibrant, strong-willed little boy who is loved by so many.

"We have been using a buggy to get him out of the house for a long time. His hypermobility causes him pain and means he tires easily, and there is always a risk to him because he has no understanding of danger."

Mrs Stafford said the family turned to Wheelchair Services when Coby began to outgrow his current buggy.

“The only option [they] could offer was a wheelchair – but this just isn’t appropriate for Coby’s needs," she said. "Without a suitable buggy we will be cut off from accessing the outside world.”

Mrs Stafford started the Ready Steady Go Activity Club because of a lack of suitable playgroups for her son, who also has a unique chromosomal abnormality.

But Coby is now at risk of becoming housebound – there aren’t many places the family can go that are suitable for Coby’s sensory needs, and without a specialist buggy to keep him safe, he and his family will be effectively confined to their home.

Mrs Stafford and her husband Ian turned to Newlife, a disabled children's charity, for help.

But Newlife's senior manager, Carrick Brown, said: “We would love to be able to help Coby and his family by getting him the buggy he needs, but we simply don’t have the funds today – so we are appealing to the community for help.”

If you would like to donate towards a new specialist buggy for Coby, contact Newlife on 01543 431 444, visit the charity's website at www.newlife.support/HelpCoby or email local@newlifecharity.co.uk