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Eight-year-old Grace Anderson needs specialist seating so she can relax at home with the rest of her family, instead of having to go to bed.

Grace, from Dumfries, has Rett Syndrome, a condition that means she is totally reliant on her family for her everyday care needs and includes her having to wear a spinal brace.

Currently, Grace spends her time either in her wheelchair or in bed because sitting on the family sofa at home doesn’t offer appropriate postural support and could cause further deterioration to her spine.

Mum Sarah Anderson said: “Grace’s wheelchair isn’t uncomfortable, but she is in it for several hours each day and she can’t relax in it. The only place she can relax at home is in bed, but that means she is increasingly isolated from the rest of the family.

“Grace has trialled a specialist seat called a PPod, which would properly support her spine and legs while allowing her to relax and be comfortable. Having a PPod of her own would make a massive difference – it would really bring the family together.”

The PPod that Grace needs costs £826, and with no funding available from local statutory services her parents turned to Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children for help. Newlife – the UK’s largest charity provider of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness – has already helped seven children in Dumfries and Galloway, with equipment totalling £19,737.

With applications for help to fund equipment increasingly significantly, Newlife has been calling on the support of ‘local heroes’.

Scotland’s Local Charity Fundraisers’ group of 32 volunteers has chosen Newlife as its Charity of the Year and has been busy raising money for disabled and terminally ill children across the country, including £207 towards Grace’s equipment.

With £200 pledged from the Anderson family, Newlife still needs to find £419 to fully fund the equipment. If you would like to help Grace, go to and click on the ‘Donate’ button. The website will also give more information about Newlife’s work in Dumfries and Galloway.

Newlife guarantees that 100 per cent of the money donated to the Newlife Dumfries and Galloway Fund will be used to provide equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness in the area. The ‘Newlife guarantee’ is possible because the charity operates a successful recycling and retail business, the profits of which underwrite core costs, including administration.

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:

Pictured: Grace Anderson