Thirteen-year-old Nathan Mottrom from Rock Ferry in Birkenhead will soon be able to get around without support, thanks to the donation of a mobility scooter from Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children, working in partnership with Marks and Spencer.
Nathan has rare conditions which affect his bone formation; this has meant he has had to have metal rods inserted in his neck and he is about to undergo his 24th operation, this one on his knee. Mum Janet Mottrom said: “Nathan is able to walk short distances, but he is in constant pain and is on a lot of medication. At school he gets very tired and sometimes has to take a break from lessons to recover. He has a manual wheelchair he can use, but he doesn’t have the strength to propel it himself so he then has to rely on others to push him around, which just isn’t practical for a boy his age.
“What he really needs is a mobility scooter so he can go where he wants, and help reduce the pain and tiredness.” With no funding available from local statutory services and the equipment costing £2,395, the family turned to Newlife for help. Newlife is the UK’s largest charity provider of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness. A partnership between Newlife and Marks & Spencer is now funding the equipment. M&S has worked in partnership with Newlife since 2006 as part of its Plan A commitments, donating returned products and clothing samples that cannot be sold, to the charity to be resold or recycled. The majority of the donated products are sold in the Newlife SuperStore in Staffordshire and the charity recycles the remaining items, all to raise money for children with disabilities. In October 2010, M&S launched a grants scheme, which has specifically helped fund over 240 pieces of essential equipment, totalling in excess of £815,000 for disabled children in local communities across the UK. Jacquie Leonard, Community Programme Manager at Marks & Spencer, said: “Our partnership with Newlife is not only great for the environment but it also helps to improve the lives of disabled children by providing much-needed specialist equipment. We are delighted to be able to support such a vital charity.”
Sheila Brown OBE, chief executive of Newlife charity, added: “Our partnership with M&S benefits hundreds of children and their families. It is very encouraging to see the efforts of M&S in helping to improve the lives of disabled and terminally ill children within the local community and across the UK. Equipment that costs hundreds to several thousands of pounds really can transform lives. We are very grateful to everyone involved and would encourage other groups and individuals to keep fundraising to help us make a difference.”
Newlife has helped provide £568,722 of equipment for 614 under-19s across Merseyside. Right now, the charity is currently working with another 32 families in the area with equipment needs totalling £14,530.
To find out more about how Newlife supports families in Merseyside go to: www.newlifecharity.co.uk/merseyside. The website includes contact details for the Newlife County Liaison Team – tel no 01543 431 444 or email email@example.com – and shows specific ways people can help support children with disability and terminal illness and their families in the area.
Newlife guarantees that 100 per cent of monies donated or fundraised on Merseyside will be used to specifically help children with disabilities and terminal illness in the metropolitan area.
Pictured: Nathan Mottrom