THE mother of a teenager with cerebral palsy who took part in last year's BBC Children In Need Rickshaw Challenge is urging our readers to sign up for a half marathon in aid of the Wirral charity that has helped him become more independent.

Luke Percy, 17, from Eastham, was born 14 weeks premature in May 2000 and later diagnosed with the condition.

He has attended Stick 'n' Step in Wallasey since he was two years old.

The charity - which offers conductive education to people with the condition - is looking for runners to take part in the Essar Chester Half Marathon on Sunday, April 29 to boost funds.

When born, Luke and his twin brother weighed only 1lbs 13oz each.

It was an extremely emotional and worrying time for parents Paula and Gary.

Both boys were on oxygen for several months to help them breathe and after a while Paula noticed at their regular hospital appointment that the therapists seemed to paying more attention to Luke than his brother.

Several days after Luke's diagnosis Paula heard about Stick 'n' Step and arranged to take him to the centre for an assessment.

When Luke first started his sessions he was unable to sit up in a chair, just flopped over and could only stand for very short periods of time.

Praising Stick'n'Step's staff mum Paula said: "They have taught him how to undertake many basic day to day tasks including how to dress himself.

"Although Luke did walk independently for a short time, he now uses his wheelchair most of the time.

"His balance has improved considerably and he has learned how to adapt what he is capable of doing to ensure that he maximises every opportunity."

Luke, a sixth form student at Caldy Grange Grammar School, is a big Liverpool FC fan.

In November he was part of a six-strong team pedalling a rickshaw on a 500 mile journey from The One Show's studio in London to the River Clyde in Glasgow, with presenter Matt Baker.

Luke's proud mum Paula continued: "He proved recently that having cerebral palsy should not be a barrier to pursuing your dreams or challenging yourself when he had the honour of being selected as one of only six young people throughout the whole country to take part in the 2017 BBC Children in Need’s Rickshaw challenge which he described as ‘such an amazing opportunity and experience’."

Stick 'n' Step was established 15 years ago provides free conductive education sessions for children and young people with cerebral palsy who have gone on to achieve things that their parents never thought would be possible.

Conductive education uses activity-based tasks, songs, massage, play and games to encourage the children to learn many of the basic tasks and key life skills that most people take for granted.

Things like learning to walk, talk, self-feeding, using the toilet independently and dressing and undressing, which are all designed to reduce each child’s dependency on other people and give them the best chance of living a full, dignified and independent life.

A limited number of free places are available for the half marathon on April 29 and participants just have to commit to raising a minimum of £150 sponsorship.

All funds raised will be used to provide sessions for Luke and other children and young people like him. If you are interested in a free place in the marathon call Hettie or Janet on 0151 638 0888.

For further information on the charity visit