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A leading children’s disability charity is calling on ‘local heroes’ across Kent to fundraise to help provide specialist equipment for youngsters in the county.

Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children – which has already funded £207,244 of essential equipment for 144 Kent children – is currently working with three families in the area who need your support.

Little Mia Evans is one of two children in Dartford who are currently waiting for specialist equipment. The three-year-old, who has delayed life-skills development and limited mobility, is rapidly outgrowing the standard cot she sleeps in and her parents have applied to Newlife for a specialist bed.

Mum Elissia said: “Mia is now too big for her cot, but because of her condition – which means she isn’t aware of danger and doesn’t properly register pain – I can’t transfer her into a normal bed because she rolls a lot and would fall out and hurt herself without realising.

“I am already concerned about her safety. I check on Mia several times each night and – despite the bumpers I have made for the existing cot – I often find her arms or legs sticking out between the bars. Her body carries on moving, but her limbs get stuck. A specialist bed will have high, appropriately padded sides to keep her safe – and a door in the side so, hopefully, as her development progresses, she will eventually be able to transfer from her bed to her walker herself.”

Elissia added: “As Mia gets bigger it will become harder to get her in and out of bed. One of the things I would love to see is more advice and support with manual handling; back problems are often symptomatic of parents of disabled children. However, a specialist profiling bed would allow us to lower and raise the mattress to make looking after Mia that bit easier.”

The specialist bed that Mia needs costs £4,958, which prompted her family to turn to Newlife Foundation. However, the charity is experiencing a current surge in demand for equipment and so is appealing for ‘local heroes’ to come forward to fundraise or donate towards the cost of specialist equipment for Mia and other children in Kent.

For instance, Newlife supporters can choose to take on a sponsored sporting challenge, host a coffee morning or cake sale, make and sell handcrafted goods, organise a pub quiz or community car wash, hold a sponsored silence or stage an evening of entertainment.

Newlife CEO Sheila Brown, OBE, said: “Newlife guarantees that 100 per cent of any gift or donation will go directly to provide equipment for disabled and terminally ill children – and donors can ring-fence their money to a specific county.”

If you think you can help, the Newlife Community Fundraising Team can be contacted on freephone 0800 988 4640. Any individual or organisation thinking of running a fundraising event is asked to contact the team, who can offer support and guidance.

Web: http://www.newlifecharity.co.uk Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/newlifecharity Facebook: http://www. facebook.com/newlifefoundation YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/NewlifeFoundation

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