When Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children supported little Wren Steer, the three-year-old’s mum decided she wanted to do her bit to help other disabled and terminally ill children – so she and an old friend from university took on the Great North Run to raise over £7,000.
The event – earlier this month – was the first of its kind that Anna Steer, from Gosforth in Newcastle, and her Edinburgh-based pal Simon King had ever entered.
Anna said: “It was a spur of the moment decision of mine to sign up – on the closing day for entries – and because my husband was due to be away on the day of the run and I felt I needed a running mate, our friend Simon agreed to step in.”
She added: “We have had a lot of amazing support from friends and family and I used Facebook to share pictures of my daughter Wren and how different pieces of specialist equipment make such a huge difference to her daily life.”
Wren has Cerebral Palsy, which affects her mobility; she can’t sit, stand or move around independently. At home she has a range of equipment to help her, but urgently needed similar items to use at pre-school. As local statutory services won’t provide equipment for school and at home, Wren’s physiotherapist advised Anna to contact Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children for support.
Newlife – the UK’s largest charity provider of specialist equipment for disabled children – has given Wren specialist seating and a standing frame (at a combined cost of more than £1,100), which mean she can join in all classroom activities with her friends. Anna says: “This equipment has made a huge difference to Wren’s life; there’s very little she can’t now do at pre-school. The seating gives her the postural support she needs so she can join her friends at the classroom tables for things like painting and the standing frame puts her at eye level, and in the thick of things, with her friends for everything else.
“Not only that, but both pieces of equipment have a therapeutic value. The seating supports her core and the stander helps strengthen her legs – and they’re doing all that while she is having fun with her friends!”
“She is a clever little bean and this equipment means she has the opportunity to take part in a variety of different activities, which wouldn’t otherwise be possible."