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Fifteen-year-old Sam Ardley is getting specialist equipment so he can do the sort of everyday things that most teenagers take for granted, thanks to help from fabulous fundraisers at Central England Co-operative stores in Leicestershire.

Sam, from Fleckney, has Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy. Already unable to walk, he uses a wheelchair to get around. But as his muscle-wasting condition continues to develop it has become more challenging for him to use his arms.

Mum Rachel Ward said: “Sam’s increasing difficulty in being able to raise his arms means doing everyday things like eating, drinking or cleaning his teeth is getting harder. He has to lean to one side to reach his mouth and this is affecting his posture and his back.”

However, specialist arm supports – at a cost of £4,258 – will mean that not only will Sam be able to be independent for longer, he will also be able to join in more activities at school, Ash Field Academy in Leicester.

Rachel added: “I had heard about this equipment through a muscular dystrophy campaign, but when Sam was able to trial the equipment at school he came home so excited. He had been able to join in with a class sports session.

“Sam’s OT at school told us about Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children and we applied for an equipment grant for the arm supports. I had also seen the fundraising that was going on in our local Co-op for Newlife.”

Newlife – the largest charity funder of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness in the UK – is Central England Co-operative’s staff-elected charity. Colleagues and customers have raised more than £836,000 for Newlife; this has already helped 389 children with disabilities and terminal illness in the retailer’s trading area get the vital equipment they need, when they need it.

Karen Pollard, Manager of the Central England Co-operative convenience store in Fleckney High Street, said: “As a regional retailer we always ensure that our staff-elected charity supports people in need in our trading area. We are delighted to have been able to help Sam and his family in this way.” For full details of Newlife Foundation’s range of practical support for disabled and terminally ill children and their families, call the Newlife Nurse Helpline – 0800 902 0095 (free from UK landlines and mobiles) – or go to: