Thirteen-year-old Antarjot Matharu will soon be sleeping comfortably thanks to the donation of an essential bed from Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children, working in partnership with Marks and Spencer.
Antarjot, from Smethwick in Sandwell, has a complex condition including Cerebral Palsy, curvature of the spine and learning disabilities. His family urgently need a waterproof bed to keep him comfortable and ensure a better night’s sleep.
With no funding available from local statutory services and the equipment costing £1,125, Antarjot’s parents turned to Newlife charity for help. Newlife is the UK’s largest charity provider of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness.
Mum Nirmal Matharu said: “Antarjot needs to be comfortable to encourage him to sleep – and being rested is important for his daily wellbeing, so his school advised us to contact Newlife.” A partnership between Newlife and Marks & Spencer is now providing the funding for the equipment. M&S has worked in partnership with Newlife since 2006 as part of its Plan A commitments, donating returned products and clothing samples that cannot be sold, to the charity to be resold or recycled. The majority of the donated products are sold in the Newlife SuperStore in Cannock and the charity recycles the remaining items, all to raise money for children with disabilities. In October 2010, M&S launched a grants scheme, which has specifically helped fund over 240 pieces of essential equipment, totalling in excess of £815,000 for disabled children in local communities across the UK. Jacquie Leonard, Community Programme Manager at Marks & Spencer, said: “Our partnership with Newlife is not only great for the environment but it also helps to improve the lives of disabled children by providing much-needed specialist equipment. We are delighted to be able to support such a vital charity.”
Sheila Brown OBE, chief executive of Newlife charity, added: “Our partnership with M&S benefits hundreds of children and their families. It is very encouraging to see the efforts of M&S in helping to improve the lives of disabled and terminally ill children within the local community and across the UK. Equipment that costs hundreds to several thousands of pounds really can transform lives. We are very grateful to everyone involved and would encourage other groups and individuals to keep fundraising to help us make a difference.”
Newlife has helped provide more than £1,429,431 of equipment for 1,482 under-19s in the West Midlands. Right now, the charity is currently working with a further 76 families with equipment needs totalling £83,564.
To find out more about how Newlife supports families in the West Midlands go to: www.newlifecharity.co.uk/westmidlands. The website includes contact details for the Newlife County Liaison Team – tel no 01543 431 444 or email firstname.lastname@example.org – and shows specific ways people can help support children with disability and terminal illness and their families in the area.
Newlife guarantees that 100 per cent of monies donated or fundraised in the West Midlands will be used to specifically help local children with disabilities and terminal illness.
Pictured: Antarjot Matharu