welve-year-old YouTube star Aaliyah Canning-Williams has been blogging from her bed – since the gift of the specialist equipment arrived at her Llandudno home recently.
Aaliyah has full body Cerebral Palsy, which means her mobility is severely limited. The new remote control profiling bed means she can independently reposition herself and not have to rely on mum Hollie Williams quite as much to be comfortable during the night.
Hollie said: “Aaliyah regularly blogs about living with disability and has been telling everyone about the brilliant new bed. It has become a bit of a social space for her when her friends come round. And we have movie nights and bed picnics. Her birthday was made by her new bed and the graffiti painting in her room by Dime One North Wales.
“The profiling feature of the bed means Aaliyah can now sit upright herself – something she couldn’t do without postural support. It also raises her legs so she doesn’t slip down the bed during the night and means she is more comfortable and is sleeping much better. It has made such a difference and given her more independence because she doesn’t have to call me all the time.”
Aaliyah’s physiotherapist recommended the bed, but there was no funding available from local statutory services. Instead, the physio advised Hollie to contact Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children, the UK’s largest charity funder of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness.
Newlife is working with The Morgan Foundation to ensure more children with disabilities and terminal illness get the right equipment at the right time.
Aaliyah said: “I love my new bed – it helps me sit up more comfortably. Thank you Newlife and thank you Morgan Foundation.”
An initial donation of £450,000 – raised through a Morgan Foundation charity golf day and gala dinner in 2014 – has already helped dozens of children across North Wales, Merseyside, West Cheshire, North Shropshire and parts of the West Midlands get the vital equipment they need for everyday life. This includes wheelchairs, buggies and walkers for mobility, specialist car seats and beds for safety and a range of other disability equipment including communication aids, walking frames, portable hoists and seating systems.
Now the Morgan Foundation has followed this up with an annual commitment of £100,000. Steve Morgan, chairman of the Morgan Foundation, said: “Having a vital aid like this means Aaliyah can sleep in increased comfort and have some control over when she wants to sit up or lie down.”
Newlife CEO Sheila Brown added: “As local authority budget cuts continue to bite, more and more families are turning to charities like Newlife. Having the support of The Morgan Foundation is an enormous boost for us.
“We look forward to helping to transform more lives across The Morgan Foundation catchment area. Anyone struggling to access equipment through their statutory services should call our Newlife Nurse Helpline – 0800 902 0095 (free from UK landlines and mobiles) to discuss their individual situation.”
For further information about The Morgan Foundation, visit the website www.morganfoundation.co.uk or call 01829 782800.
If you would like to find out more about Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children and how to access its services, call the Newlife Nurse Helpline or go to www.newlifecharity.co.uk.
Pictured: Aaliyah Canning-Williams