Fabulous fundraisers at Central England Co-operative stores – including those across Suffolk – 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 FIVE-YEAR-OLD ZAC FIND HIS FEET . . .
Fabulous fundraisers at Central England Co-operative stores in Suffolk are helping a Stowmarket five-year-old find his feet and develop his walking abilities.
Zac Cox, from the Combs Ford area of the town, has a neurological condition that affects his mobility. He uses a wheelchair outdoors, but urgently needs a specialist frame to maintain and develop his walking abilities learned at school.
Mum Lauren Cox said: “Zac has use of a walker at school, but it’s not solely for him. He has to share it – and at holiday times it’s hit and miss who can take it home.”
Zac needs a walker that he can take to school but that he can also use at home at weekends and during holidays. With no funding available from local statutory services, Lauren turned to Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children for help.
Lauren said: “Getting this walker will make a huge difference to Zac. He will be able to move it with his body, rather than pushing it with his hands, which is important to Zac because he is visually impaired and likes to use his hands to feel things around him. He has the potential to walk, he just needs that bit of extra assistance.
“We know that this piece of equipment is right for Zac because he gets to use one during his physiotherapy sessions, which we pay for privately. The walker also has a parent handle, so we can guide him if necessary.”
She added: “Being able to walk will aid Zac’s health as it will help his digestion and develop his muscle strength. But the equipment will also help him play with his two brothers in the garden and allow him a bit of independence when we are out in the local community or in the park, taking the dogs for a walk.”
Dane Blyth, manager at Central England Co-operative’s Stowupland filling station, 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 Zac.”
To find out more about Newlife’s work in Suffolk, go to: www.newlifecharity.co.uk/suffolk. 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: Zac Cox