Fabulous fundraisers at Central England Co-operative stores – including those across Leicestershire – have set a new target of £1.5million to help local disabled and terminally ill children.
Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children has been Central England Co-operative’s staff-elected charity since May 2012. £1.2million has already been raised – helping to buy specialist equipment for more than 520 children across the retailer’s trading area – and now the partnership is being extended so more local families can benefit.
Central England Co-operative Chief Executive Martyn Cheatle said: “Our partnership with Newlife has been extremely successful. The dedication of the Society’s colleagues, members and customers has meant that we have been able to raise a significant amount of money and build a strong relationship along the way. As a community retailer and responsible business, it has been great to know that every penny raised as part of this charity campaign has gone to improve the lives of families in our trading area.”
Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children is the UK’s largest charity provider of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness. Newlife CEO Sheila Brown, OBE, added: “This has been an amazing partnership, helping us to support so many in urgent need. Without this level of support from Central England Co-operative some of these children would have gone without the equipment altogether and many more would have had to wait months or even years just for an assessment of their needs. I would like to thank everyone at Central England Co-operative for their renewed support, which will continue to make such a difference to young lives.”
HELPING ALFIE SLEEP IN SAFETY . . .
Fabulous fundraisers at Central England Co-operative stores in Leicestershire are helping a five-year-old from Whissendine get a specialist bed so he can sleep in safety.
Alfie Barbour has Cowden’s Syndrome – which causes non-cancerous growths – combined with severe Autism Spectrum Disorder and associated communication, social and behavioural issues.
For several years Alfie has been sleeping in an inflatable travel bed because he thrashes around in his sleep and would hurt himself if he was in a standard bed. Mum Rebecca Barbour said: “The blow-up bed has worked in this respect, but he can get out of it at any time – and does. He will wake up several times in the night and constantly goes in to see his older siblings, who are 11 and 13, but they desperately need their sleep too. Alfie is getting bigger and stronger and has also now started to climb over safety gates, so the situation is becoming more urgent.”
What Alfie needs is a special bed called a SafeSpace, but, said Rebecca, there is no local authority funding available for the £6,515 piece of equipment. Rebecca and husband Chris are part of a special needs support group, and another parent recommended they contact Newlife for help.
Rebecca said: “We had been going round in circles for a while, trying to get a safe sleeping space for Alfie, but we finally got somewhere when we approached Newlife. The application process has been really straightforward and we have been pleasantly surprised by how quickly Newlife has reacted. The bed is being specially made for Alfie and we are due to get it later in September – and we can’t wait. The Co-op funding for the bed – which will make a huge difference to the whole family – has been aided by a £500 donation by Rutland Lions Club.”
Jayne Walton, manager at Central England Co-operative’s Burley Road Oakham supermarket, said: “Central England Co-operative takes fundraising to help local communities very seriously, and we are committed to making a positive impact in the local areas in which we trade. Working with Newlife has provided a great opportunity for us to help make life easier for youngsters like Alfie.”
To find out more about Newlife’s work in Leicestershire, go to: www.newlifecharity.co.uk/leicestershire. The website includes contact details for the Newlife County Liaison Team – tel no 01543 431 444 or email [email protected] – and shows specific ways people can help support children with disability and terminal illness and their families in the county.
For full details of Newlife Foundation’s range of practical support for disabled and terminally ill children and their families, call the Newlife Nurse Helpline – 0800 902 0095 (free from UK landlines and mobiles) – or go to: https://newlifecharity.co.uk
Pictured: Alfie with his dad Chris Barbour.