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Twelve-year-old Ethan Carnall, from Rotherham in South Yorkshire, has to sleep in a cot. He has no understanding of danger due to his disability so to keep him safe at night, a cot was the only option after he was refused a safety bed by local statutory services. But Ethan is growing and is able to pull himself up – and his parents were getting increasingly worried that he might fall out of bed.


Mum Marie Carnall said: “Ethan has a chromosomal condition – he can’t walk or speak as is developmentally delayed. He is an active little boy – he can get around quite quickly by bum shuffling. He would think nothing of pulling his drawers out on top of himself, because he just doesn’t understand that it could hurt him. Because his bed was too small Ethan was uncomfortable and not getting the sleep he needed – and neither were the rest of the family.”


Now, thanks to funds raised by fashion store chain River Island, Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children has provided Ethan with a specialist cot that will keep him safe through the night.


River Island is supporting Newlife through a ‘fantastic plastic’ initiative, donating the profit from the sale of its 5p carrier bags – from every store in the UK – to the charity, specifically to fund vital equipment like Ethan’s.



Marie said: “When we first contacted Newlife they understood that Ethan was at risk and were able to loan us a specialist bed – it changed our lives. I was so worried about it going back but when they called to say Ethan was getting his own, I cried with relief. Since having the bed, everything has changed. Ethan is happy at bed time – he even sleeps through the night and when he wakes up, he wakes up happy and I can hear him giggling to himself – it’s wonderful. It’s changed all our lives for the better.”


Newlife’s Head of Charity Operations Stephen Morgan said: “It’s great that we could help Ethan, but right now Newlife has another 21 disabled and terminally ill children in South Yorkshire who are in need of specialist equipment and we must raise £7,143 to help them too.”


He added: “We really want to help these children, so we are calling on local individuals, groups, clubs and companies to get involved and support them. If you think you could help by donating or fundraising, please visit www.newlifecharity.co.uk/southyorkshire. Alternatively, contact a member of the team on 01543 462777 or email local@newlifecharity.co.uk.”

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