Boy with autism given dream Land Rover ride to prom after mum’s Facebook plea

Kyle Johnson and Jake Wakefield. Picture: Kyle Johnson
Kyle Johnson and Jake Wakefield. Picture: Kyle Johnson
Newbridge Junior School Picture: Maria Bujor

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Land Rovers came to the rescue as a convoy of eight took a young boy with autism to his prom after his mother made a last-minute plea on Facebook.

Jake Wakefield, 16, was diagnosed with global learning difficulties at the age of four but despite several previous visits to the doctor he was only diagnosed with autism last year.

Picture: Kyle Johnson

Picture: Kyle Johnson

Last week Jake, who attends Redwood Park Academy in Cosham, and his mother Beverley reached out on Facebook to help him get to his prom.

The car they would have used had been in an accident and the family had been let down with no courtesy car, which Beverley described as being ‘left in limbo’.

Her Facebook post got a lot of interest and many people offered their help.

Beverley, 42, told The News, ‘I was so thankful for the all the offers and for the drivers to give up their time’.

Picture: Kyle Johnson

Picture: Kyle Johnson

After spotting the shoutout on Facebook, Land Rover enthusiast Kyle Johnson, from Waterlooville, thought it would be kind to offer a ride in his vehicle but did not expect a reply.

Kyle, 30, left the family on edge however as he offered his car and told Beverley he had a ‘surprise’ for them both.

Much to Jake’s delight and the surprise of his mother, the promise of one Land Rover became a dream come true with a convoy of eight turning up to their house in Southsea.

Kyle said: ‘He ran across the road and jumped in the front seat of my Land Rover.’

The convoy originated from the Hampshire-based Land Rover club All Terrain 4x4, a club Kyle owns himself, made up of fellow Land Rover owners.

When the group reached the school they were greeted with a round of applause and Beverley described the feeling as being ‘absolutely gobsmacked’.

Beverley said Jake’s sister was so impressed with the group of cars she almost cried, while she also had to hold back tears or felt everybody would cry.

She said: ‘Jake had a really, really good time.’

Jake is looking at a future attending Highbury College, after the prom provided a dream end to his school life.