Little Isla Agnew has Cerebral Palsy, which affects her muscles, and needs special help to learn to sit upright and hold her head up.
A partnership between Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children and Marks and Spencer is now giving 19-month-old Isla a specialist car seat to not only support her muscle development but keep her safe at the same time.
Isla’s mum Joanne Faulkner, from the Hunts Cross area of Liverpool, said: “It’s not until you have a child of your own with a disability that you understand how much specialist equipment is needed – and how expensive it is.”
The car seat for Isla has cost £450. With no local statutory funding available, Joanne was advised to contact Newlife – the largest UK charity providing specialist equipment.
She added: “This specific seating is best for Isla’s posture and the development of her spine, going forward. Not only will it help her learn to sit upright, it has the additional support she needs for her head.”
M&S has worked in partnership with Newlife since 2006 as part of its Plan A commitments, donating returned products and clothing samples that cannot be sold, to the charity to be resold or recycled. The majority of the donated products are sold in the Newlife SuperStore in Staffordshire and the charity recycles the remaining items, all to raise money for children with disabilities. In October 2010, M&S launched a grants scheme, which has specifically helped fund over 260 pieces of essential equipment, totalling in excess of £850,000 for disabled children in local communities across the UK.
Jacquie Leonard, Community Programme Manager at Marks & Spencer, said: “Our partnership with Newlife is not only great for the environment but it also helps to improve the lives of disabled children by providing much-needed specialist equipment. We are delighted to be able to support such a vital charity.”
Newlife Head of Operations Stephen Morgan added: “The UK has more disabled children than ever before – and our partnership with M&S benefits hundreds of children. It’s an outrage that families have to ‘battle’ local services and yet still face heart-breaking refusals. The support of organisations like M&S means we can change lives across the UK every day.”
Newlife has helped provide £600,286 of equipment for 655 children in the Merseyside area. Right now, the charity is currently working with another 33 families in Merseyside with equipment needs totalling £29,098. To find out how you could help a child near you, go to: www.newlifecharity.co.uk/merseyside. Alternatively, contact the Newlife Supporter Relations Team on 01543 462777 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Newlife guarantees that 100 per cent of monies donated or fundraised on Merseyside will be used to specifically help children with disabilities and terminal illness in the area.
Pictured: Isla Agnew