Three-year-old Max White has absolutely no awareness of danger and can fall to the floor in panic when he feels overwhelmed by the world around him. He has had to be rushed to hospital on more than one occasion because he has hurt himself. But local fundraising heroes have changed all this.
Now mum Emma Green, from Liskeard in Cornwall, can get Max out and about in safety – thanks to fabulous fundraisers at the Department for Work and Pensions’ Child Maintenance Group in Plymouth.
Staff there are supporting Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children, and have already raised more than £2,350 to help disabled and terminally ill children in Devon and Cornwall get the specialist equipment they urgently need.
Some of this money has funded a special-needs buggy for Max. Mum and dad Emma and James had bought a succession of high street prams and buggies for Max, but they had all buckled. Emma says: “Regular buggies just aren’t suitable for older children with additional needs. The buggy from Newlife has made life so much easier – and so much safer for Max.”
She added: “In between new pushchairs Max was having to walk everywhere, but he won’t hold a hand and he can get out of safety reins. It’s like he just forgets that he needs to walk and falls to the ground; we have to remind him what he was doing and turn it into a game. It can take an age to get anywhere, even from the house to the car. That made going out very difficult and it affected Max’s five-year-old sister Phoebe too.
“The new buggy came just in time for the summer holidays and has made such a big difference. For instance, for the first time ever we have been able to go to a theme park – Woodlands in Devon – where Max and Phoebe both had an amazing time.”
The lightweight buggy – “It’s as light as a feather and Phoebe enjoys helping out by pushing Max around,” says Emma – has a secure harness that Max can’t undo and a wraparound cover that he can retreat into when he feels overwhelmed. Emma added: “Now, when I say we are going out Max climbs into the buggy and straps himself in, he’s feels so happy in it.”
Every penny raised by the DWP Child Maintenance Group will be used to provide specialist equipment for disabled children in Devon and Cornwall. Frank Meakin, who is the Chair of the group’s Charity Committee, said: “Everyone pulls together as one big community when it comes to charity events. We like to be as inventive as possible and really get into the spirit of things and we welcome the opportunity to support the charity in supporting other local families.”