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BED BOOST ENSURES EWAN'S CONTINUED SAFETY

Four-year-old Ewan Macintosh is getting a special safe sleeping environment built just for him, to keep him safe at night, thanks to the amazing support of fashion store giant River Island for a leading UK children’s disability charity.

Ewan, from Grangemouth near Falkirk, has Autistic Spectrum Disorder; he doesn’t understand that when it’s dark he should be asleep – and not playing throughout the night – so the £4,714 SafeSpace will provide the low sensory environment he needs to keep him safe . . . and sleeping.

His parents Amy Parkes and David Mackintosh already know this special-needs equipment is just right for Ewan, as he has had an Emergency Equipment Loan of a SafeSpace from Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children since October last year. With the loan period at an end, it was vital he has a safe sleeping environment of his own – so Newlife stepped in again to help, with funding from River Island.

The River Island support 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 for disabled and terminally ill children. To date, this initiative has resulted in £500,000 of equipment for children in the UK.

Mum Amy Parkes said: “Ewan doesn’t understand that night-time means sleep, so he can’t have a regular bed because he will just run around and play for hours at a time. He shares a bedroom with his seven-year-old sister Adele, so this was very disruptive for her, too, especially when she had school the next day. So Ewan was sleeping in a cot, but he was much too big for it and we were worried he would climb out and hurt himself. He has no awareness of danger so we need to keep a close eye on him all the time.”

Amy added: “Statutory services couldn’t help us, so our occupational therapist told us about Newlife.”

Newlife is the UK’s largest charity provider of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness. It has supported 29 children in the Falkirk area with equipment totalling £39,650.

“Newlife acted really quickly to provide us with a SafeSpace on loan. It had an instant affect. Ewan has gone from hardly sleeping at all to going through from around 9pm or 10pm each night to 6am or 7am each morning. It has made a huge difference, not only to his safety but to his sister’s ability to sleep – and our peace of mind.

“Ewan loves the feeling of being enclosed – he feels comforted and safe – so the SafeSpace is ideal. Knowing we are now getting this equipment to keep is amazing!”

To find out more about how Newlife supports local children, go to www.newlifecharity.co.uk/falkirk. Right now, the charity is working with a further two families in Falkirk, with combined equipment needs of £4,564. You can help by donating through the website or, alternatively, contact the Newlife Supporter Relations Team on 01543 462777 or email local@newlifecharity.co.uk.

Pictured: Ewan Macintosh

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