A YOUNG man from Ilton who battles with “a number of invisible disabilities” is riding high after local charities helped him get back on the saddle.

Liam James Lloyd, from Ilton, used to love riding his BMX when he was younger.

But Liam had fallen out of love with cycling after years of sensory processing difficulties and being on the autistic spectrum.

Liam also has PTSD, anxiety, chronic fatigue, and he has benign hypermobility syndrome which brings him chronic pain.

Gail Lloyd, Liam’s mum, said: “My son struggles with a number of invisible disabilities that make life a challenge for him physically and mentally.

“He loved riding his BMX over the years, but as time has gone on he has become so tall and stocky that he lost the heart in his bike and lost a lot of his own self confidence and freedom.

“His occupational therapist and GP have put a lot of support in and suggested a different type of bike for him that fits his needs.”

It took several months for Liam to warm to the idea, and with a lot of support from Conner Williams at Taunton’s Bicycle Chain store he found one that would fit him.

But there was another hurdle - the dream machine cost more than £3,600.

Gail added: “For the first time we have had to ask for help from charities.

“It was not easy as I had to justify my son’s disabilities and why we needed the help.

“Many charities turned us down as his disabilities did not meet the criteria. This resulted in us losing a number of bikes we had chosen and posed so many obstacles regarding a bike.

“Bicycle Chain had not had to deal with this type of situation before but they were so supportive and were still willing to put faith in myself and my son and the charities regarding funding.”

In the end, Liam and Gail received backing from Action For Kids, Ilminster Education Fund, Family fund and The Boparan Charitable Trust and Martock Charity.

Gail said: “I would like to say a big thank you to Bicycle Chain Taunton for all their patience and support.

“We are so happy with the end result.”