Getting out and about is now ‘100 times easier’ for Norwich mum Kelly Eastman, thanks to provision of a specialist buggy for her eight-year-old son Noah.
Noah has a complex sensory processing disorder and hyper-mobile joints; he tires easily and can become overwhelmed by the world around him – particularly by noises and people.
Mum Kelly said: “Noah loves going out, but you never know from one day to the next what sort of Noah you’re going to get. Safety is a major concern because he has no awareness of danger to himself.
“We had been using a special needs pushchair for Noah, but he is the size of a 13-year-old and the buggy kept buckling. Last summer in particular was a nightmare – we spent a lot of time at our local Sainsbury’s supermarket because they have special needs equipment there that we could use to walk round.”
The solution was a buggy specially designed for older, larger children – but this equipment was £931 and local statutory services couldn’t help. So Noah’s occupational therapist told Kelly about Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children.
Newlife is the UK’s largest charity provider of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness and has supported 156 under-19s in Norfolk with items totalling £182,186.
Kelly said: “We’ve got the new buggy and Noah absolutely loves it. Having the equipment means we can walk into the city centre or go to the local park whenever we want to. There’s a five-point harness to keep him safe and he is happy tucked into the buggy with his iPad. Basically, it means we now get to do the things that most people take for granted.”
Newlife provided the buggy through its Equipment Grants service; other items available range from wheelchairs and walkers for mobility to specialist car seats and beds for safety. The charity also works with families to offer Emergency Equipment Loans, often within 72 hours of an application being made; a Play Therapy Pod service for those with complex needs; and Comfort Capsules so families of terminally ill children can make memories together. For more details about how Newlife supports families in the area, go to www.newlifecharity.co.uk/norfolk
Right now, the charity is working with a further six families in the county with equipment needs of £5,768. If you think you can help, go to the website and donate. Alternatively, contact the Newlife County Liaison Team on 01543 431 444, [email protected]
Newlife guarantees that 100 per cent of monies donated or fundraised in Norfolk will be used to specifically help children with disabilities and terminal illness in the county.
Pictured: Noah Eastman