A charity partnership between Staffordshire auctioneers Cuttlestones and Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children is helping Stoke-on-Trent 12-year-old Ashleigh Bird get around more easily.
Ashleigh has Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy which means the use of her limbs is impaired. She needed a lightweight wheelchair so she could propel it herself and be more independent rather than having to rely on others to push her in her heavy NHS equipment.
Mum Marie Bird said: “The new wheelchair is brilliant and is making a big difference to Ashleigh’s life. It is so light that we can pick it up with one hand to load it into the car; in particular this means Ashleigh’s grandparents can take her out more.”
Marie added: “Unfortunately, Ashleigh is currently suffering with fatigue and she has had a really bad time of it over the last couple of months. We are hoping that she can transfer to a specialist school in September where she will receive regular physiotherapy and more input into her physical health so she can propel her new wheelchair herself more easily.”
Ashleigh loves her new wheelchair. She said: “Thank you so much for helping me to have a new wheelchair it’ so much easier for me to get around by myself.”
The Bird family turned to Cannock-based Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children for help with funding the £2,490 wheelchair; they had received £1,000 from another organisation and needed £1,490 to meet the balance. With support from Cuttlestones, Newlife has ensured Ashleigh has an appropriate wheelchair ready for her change of school in September.
Cuttlestones Auctioneers & Valuers – with salerooms in Penkridge and Wolverhampton – adopted Newlife Foundation as its Charity of the Year throughout 2013, raising an amazing total of £5,556. Cuttlestones will continue to support the charity in 2014.
Cuttlestones managing director Ben Gamble said: “Newlife Foundation does incredible work that we are proud to support. Seeing the difference our fundraising efforts have made to Ashleigh and her family really brings home why we’ve been raising funds over the past year and it’s fantastic to see someone benefit directly.”
Newlife Foundation CEO Sheila Brown, OBE, added: “Funding donated by Cuttlestones enabled us to support several Staffordshire children during 2013. Their fundraising efforts have helped transform the lives of those children – and their families.”
Pictured: Ashleigh Bird.