Ten-year-old Freddie Piper, from Worcester Park in Surrey, will soon be getting a portable hoist to use around his family home – thanks to fabulous local fundraisers and the support of fashion giant River Island.
Freddie has a complex condition that affects his mobility and results in more than 30 seizures each day. Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children launched a local appeal – through the Epsom and Sutton Guardian newspapers – to raise the £2,315 needed for a hoist. As a result, the charity received donations from more than 20 people – and now River Island has stepped forward to fund the outstanding £1,668.25p.
Mum Nadia Piper said: “We want to say a huge ‘thank you’ to every single person who responded to the appeal – and, of course, to River Island for their support of Newlife. The hoist will make a significant difference to Freddie’s daily life, helping to keep him safe, give him greater freedom of movement and maintain his dignity as he gets older.”
Freddie has the childhood epilepsy condition Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome combined with Pura Syndrome, which can cause developmental delays, and cardiac abnormalities. Newlife stepped in to support the family last summer when they urgently needed help to transfer Freddie between his bed, specialist seating and bathroom and into his buggy to go outside – and they were waiting for local statutory services to install a ceiling track hoist.
Mum Nadia Piper said: “Through its Emergency Equipment Loan service, Newlife offered us a portable hoist – and it has been invaluable. We only got the ceiling track hoist fitted at the beginning of this year; however, this is in Freddie’s ground floor bedroom and bathroom and we still need hoist equipment to use in our family living area and the garden.”
With the loan period of the portable hoist coming to an end, Nadia was concerned that they still needed this equipment to help move Freddie if he has a seizure elsewhere in the house or garden, to support transfers from one piece of seating to another and enable him to enjoy activities with his five-year-old sister Edith in the garden during the summer.
The River Island funding comes through its UK-wide ‘fantastic plastic’ initiative – donating the profits from the sale of every five pence carrier bag in every store to Newlife, which uses the money to provide a range of specialist equipment. To date, this initiative has resulted in £500,000 of equipment.
To find out more about how Newlife supports local children, go to www.newlifecharity.co.uk/surrey. The website includes contact details for the Newlife County Liaison Team – tel no 01543 431 444 or email email@example.com – and shows specific ways people can help support children with disability and terminal illness and their families in the county.
Newlife is currently working with a further 16 families in Surrey, with equipment needs totalling £5,601.
Pictured: Freddie with dad Nick Piper.