A Barnsley-based bridal magazine has said ‘I do’ to helping a disabled Yorkshire boy get the specialist equipment he needs so he can take his first holiday in eight years.
I Do magazine’s annual awards ceremony at Sheffield City Hall Ballroom earlier this year raised £2,350 for Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children – and £1,840 of this is now funding a portable safe sleeping environment for nine-year-old Luke Robb from Huddersfield.
I Do magazine editor Heather Tiffany said: “It’s great to know exactly how our fundraising is being spent. On the night we asked guests to buy potentially prize winning chocolate bars at £10 each. That’s a relatively insignificant sum for most – but it’s heartening to know that all their £10s put together will make a significant difference to Luke and his family.”
Luke was diagnosed with severe epilepsy when he was just 18 months old. Mum Kristie Robb says: “We noticed there was something different about Luke when he was a toddler and we thought he might have Autism. Before his first major seizure his development was delayed, however he was making progress. After the seizure Luke was unable to talk and lost what few functions he had.”
Part of his condition remains undiagnosed – however Kristie has been told that Luke has Autistic Spectrum Disorder and Sensory Integration Disorder as well as experiencing different types of seizures throughout the day and night. He displays challenging behaviour on a daily basis, taking his frustrations out on himself. Because of this he wears a specially made helmet and sleeps in a padded room at home to help keep him safe.
“Luke has no awareness of danger and in the past has hit his head so hard it has caused huge cuts and bruises. There is no way we could take him away for even one night without a special bed,” says Kristie.
Luke has not been able to take a holiday since his diagnosis. Delighted at news of the funding – and with the safe sleeping environment set for delivery – Kristie said: “I am going to wait until we’ve got it, but I have already started looking at weekend breaks away in Blackpool and Scarborough. Taking Luke to the seaside for a few days will make a world of difference and be special for the whole family.
“I want to say a huge ‘thank you’ to everyone at I Do magazine for their support of Newlife.”
The specialist Safe and Sound Travel pod creates a calming effect for children with sensory needs and its soft, padded structure means he will be safe.
If you would like to find out more about how Newlife supports disabled and terminally ill children in your area, go to www.newlifecharity.co.uk/local and click on your county.
Newlife Regional Fundraising and Awareness Manager Caroline Artschan said: “The UK has more disabled children than ever before and Newlife believes in helping to give our children a decent chance in life – and a quality of life.”
Anyone interested in supporting disabled and terminally ill children in Yorkshire can contact Caroline on 07534 491 933 or by emailing CArtschan@newlifecharity.co.uk
Pictured: Luke Robb