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Six-year-old Samuel will be able to sleep in safety – thanks to provision of a simple piece of specialist disability equipment funded by fabulous local fundraisers at Central England Co-operative.

Samuel, from Stourbridge, has Autism, ADHD and learning difficulties, which results in challenging behaviours and no awareness of danger.

Mum Elaine said: “Samuel doesn’t sleep well and bedtime is really challenging for him. He doesn’t want to go to bed because he has no body clock and doesn’t understand when he is tired – he fights, sometimes quite literally, going to sleep.

“Samuel can’t speak or communicate effectively so the world must be a very frustrating place for him. He kicks his bedroom walls in frustration. He doesn’t realise how badly he could hurt himself. As he gets older, obviously we are increasingly worried about his safety.”

Through a local disability support group, Elaine found out about Newlife Foundation and applied to us for a grant to fund a specialist £6,990 safe sleeping environment for Samuel.

Newlife is Central England Co-operative’s staff-elected charity. Colleagues and customers have raised more than £879,000 for Newlife; this has already helped in excess of 400 children with disabilities and terminal illness in the retailer’s trading area get the vital equipment they need, when they need it. Thanks to the partnership, Newlife was able to respond quickly to Elaine’s application.

Elaine said: “The equipment we need is called a SafeSpace; it is a completely padded and safe environment so Samuel can’t hurt himself. Hopefully it will also help him realise that he needs to settle down.”

She added: “Samuel’s behaviour in the daytime is more challenging because he doesn’t sleep properly so using a SafeSpace will help improve his ability to function. Currently, when he does have the odd good night’s sleep the difference is incredible – and this equipment could lead to more progress. His teachers tell me they can tell the difference between those children who have access to a SafeSpace and those who don’t.”