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A children’s disability charity is appealing for help in funding an urgently needed specialist bed so eight-year-old Taylor Higgs doesn’t have to sleep on the floor.

Taylor, from Pentreath on the Isle of Anglesey, has Cerebral Palsy, Microcephaly and Developmental Delay; she is dependant on her family for all her care needs. Statutory services provided a profiling adult-sized bed, but this was removed after she became trapped in the side rails. Because she is at risk of injury if she falls out of a standard bed, her family had no option but to put a mattress on the floor.

The family’s situation has come to a head since mum Emma Crowe, who is nine weeks pregnant, was taken into hospital with a burst appendix. Stepdad Peter, who is part of the 2nd Yorkshire Regiment currently based in Cyprus, has been given special leave to look after his family but is due to return to the Mediterranean in early February. This will leave Emma on her own to care for Taylor – a pupil at Ysgol y Bont – and her four-year-old brother.

Emma and Peter turned to leading UK children’s disability charity Newlife Foundation for help, when they discovered the cost of an appropriate specialist bed is £6,038.

Peter said: “Taylor regularly wakes up in the night and crawls across the floor. Unfortunately, she can’t then get back into bed so she gets cold, which isn’t good for her health. She is too big for a child’s cot and therefore the only sort of bed that will ensure her safety and comfort at night is a specialist one – and they’re very expensive.”

Newlife, which has previously provided £13,241 of disability equipment for three children in Anglesey, is underwriting the cost of the bed. Newlife Lead Nurse Karen Dobson said: “We receive requests for specialist equipment from hundreds of families each year, but when Taylor’s application arrived we recognised the urgency of the family’s situation and fast-tracked the process. The family are due to take delivery of the equipment in March.”

The charity is currently experiencing hugely increased demands on its resources; calls to the Newlife Nurse Helpline – 0800 902 0095 – have shot up and there are thousands more hits on the charity’s website

“Because of the huge demand,” said Newlife CEO Sheila Brown, OBE, “we are calling on ‘local heroes’ to help us raise money to fund Taylor’s specialist bed.”

Newlife guarantees that 100 per cent of all monies received will go directly to fund the bed – and any surplus funds will be ring-fenced to support other children in Anglesey. All administration costs are underwritten by the charity’s own trading business, which exists solely to support Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children.

If you think you can help, the Newlife Community Fundraising Team can be contacted on freephone 0800 988 4640. Any individual or organisation thinking of running a fundraising event is asked to contact the team, who can offer support and guidance.

Pictured: Taylor Higgs, aged eight.

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