The family of a severely disabled little girl in Hull are asking for help in making sure she sleeps safely at night and can join in sleepovers and parties with her younger sister.
Eight-year-old Annie-May Hoyle has an undiagnosed condition which means she has severe and uncontrolled epilepsy, global developmental delay and learning difficulties.
The little girl has a special bed at home which she cannot fall out of and does meet her needs – but it is the only place where she is totally safe. It means no holidays, no overnight stays at relatives like other children her age can enjoy; because she can’t take her safe bed with her.
Now leading UK charity for disabled and terminally ill children Newlife Foundation has come up with an answer – ‘Safesides’, which have been used in hospital recently, but which are unavailable through the local authority. They are see-through plastic inflatable sides which act as a barrier to stop her falling from her bed, but enable her to see her surroundings.
The charity has pledged to help find the £1,018 needed to provide the fully portable safety equipment which will give Annie-May a new lease of life and is seeking help in fundraising.
Annie-May’s dad, David, said: “Having this equipment would make a massive difference to Annie-May’s life. It would mean she could have sleepovers at her gran’s and at her cousins’ houses, as her sister does. They have regular pyjama parties and it would mean that instead of me having to fetch Annie-May home, she could stay over and join in the fun.”
David added it would also mean little Annie-May could enjoy family holidays, which she can’t at the moment. With the portable ‘Safeside’ equipment she will be able to enjoy a whole new lease of life.
Newlife Foundation last year spent over £1.5million through its Equipment Grants scheme throughout the UK – including over £85,000 which helped 70 children in Yorkshire. But the charity is looking for help. Newlife is experiencing hugely increased demands on its resources; calls to its Nurse Helpline – 0800 902 0095 – have shot up compared to this time last year and there are thousands more hits on the charity’s website www.newlifecharity.co.uk
At the moment the charity is currently working with 23 families in Yorkshire alone, with equipment needs totalling over £34,611.
“Because of the huge demand,” said Newlife CEO Sheila Brown, OBE, “we are calling on ‘local heroes’ to help us raise money to fund Annie-May’s specialist equipment.
“Newlife guarantees 100 per cent of all monies received will go directly to fund the equipment, and any surplus funds will be ring-fenced to support other children in Yorkshire.”
If you think you can help, the Newlife Community Fundraising Team can be contacted on freephone 0800 988 4640. Any individual or organisation thinking of running a fundraising event is asked to contact the team, who can offer support and guidance and practical help too.
Pictured: Annie-May Hoyle, who would love to be able to enjoy sleepovers and pyjama parties like her younger sister.