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The simple donation of a pack of batteries will help power-up play opportunities for disabled and terminally ill children.

Local people, clubs and businesses are being called on to donate batteries to leading UK children’s disability charity Newlife Foundation, to help supply Play Therapy Pods to children across the Midlands.

Newlife has more than 320 Play Therapy Pods in continuous use – each one contains around £400 of specialist sensory and developmental toys for children with complex needs, and are available on 12-week loans.

These can be used as part of a disabled child’s prescribed development programme – or simply as a way for families to play together, often for the first time. Newlife has now helped more than 1,000 families through this service.

Mum Sara Harvey is delighted with difference a Play Therapy Pod has made in encouraging her two-year-old son Frank, who is autistic, to talk. She said: “It’s obvious that a lot of thought and expertise has gone into putting the pods together, because Frank latched on to particular toys and loves them. He especially likes a shapes puzzle; within about five days he was echoing parts of the words. Now, he can almost say ‘circle’ and’ triangle’. For us, it is another tool to use to be able to interact with Frank. Previously, he didn’t want us to play with his toys with him – now, because of the puzzles, he wants us to help.”

But this great work is being threatened because so many of the specialist toys need batteries – and charity’s budget for the service is increasingly stretched as demand grows.

Could you pop a pack of AA, AAA, C, D, L44 or AG3 batteries in your shopping trolley and donate these to Newlife?

Newlife CEO Sheila Brown said: “If we don’t have enough batteries, we will have to restrict the number of pods we send out – which means disabled and terminally ill children across the Midlands will miss out on the therapy and joy they deserve through play.”

Battery donation boxes can be found at Newlife stores in Cannock, Market Drayton and Uttoxeter – and large donations can be collected from Midlands locations. For further details call Laura Davis on 01543 468 888.

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