Autism sufferer, 14, gets a new hammock to help him fall asleep thanks to grant.

A young autism sufferer from Barnstaple is on the road to a calm night’s sleep after receiving a grant for a specialist hammock.

Bertie Seggons, 14, also suffers from social anxiety and Tourette’s syndrome and needs constant reassurance from his mother Fiona, which results in disturbed nights as his sensory attachment to her means he needs frequent cuddles.

Fiona successfully applied to mutual OneFamily’s customer benefit fund for the help.

“The hammock is specially designed to get Bertie’s proprioceptive senses working properly instead of them going haywire,” she said.

“The deep pressure it gives him around his back, arms and shoulders emulates the feelings a cuddle would give him and really helps to calm him.

“At the moment, he needs constant attention from us, otherwise he can get quite distressed, which makes it impossible for him to sleep alone.

“We are hoping that over time we will be able to teach him that when his anxiety is rising, he can go and lie in his hammock and that this will calm him down; eventually enabling him to sleep alone for the first time.

“We’ve already started to see a difference in him and we’re confident that in time it will make a vast improvement to his life. We can’t thank OneFamily enough.”

OneFamily is a mutual organisation providing investments such as Junior ISAs, savings and insurance products.

Since launching the foundation grants in 2014, hundreds have benefitted and the company intends to make another £5million available to members over the next five years.

To apply, visit the OneFamily website.