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A specialist bed from Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children has brought a seven-year-old Autistic boy from Billericay and his family back from the brink of absolute exhaustion.

Oliver Stiles has severe Autism, Sensory Processing Disorder and learning disabilities.  He’s on the move constantly and needs round the clock supervision to prevent him from hurting himself. Oliver finds sleeping very difficult, often starting his day at one in the morning and staying awake for the entire day –exhausting himself and his parents.

The family were at breaking point and were told the best option for Oliver was medication to make him sleep – but before making such a drastic decision they wanted to explore alternatives. One of Oliver’s doctors from his specialist sleep team, advised them that a bed called a Safespace would help Oliver, and recommended a number of charities to contact for help.  Newlife was the only one able to loan Oliver the bed he needed, and are now working with the family and local health and social care services to ensure they have a permanent solution.

Oliver’s mum, June, said: “We had no idea that such a service existed – they were able to turn our application around really quickly, getting the bed to us within 72 hours. Now Oliver absolutely loves going to bed, he sleeps better, although he still wakes quite early – but we feel so much more relaxed knowing that he is safe and can’t hurt himself. We are all getting more sleep, even Oliver’s three-year-old brother.”

Newlife is the largest charity providing specialist equipment for disabled and terminally ill children in the UK.  Its Emergency Equipment Loan service is completely unique, providing specialist equipment for disabled children who are at serious risk of injury or worse. And aiming to deliver the equipment within 72 hours and work with the family to find permanent provision.

Carrick Brown, Newlife’s Senior Manager of the Care Services Department, said: “Disabled and terminally ill children suffer avoidable pain and worsening conditions when they can’t get the right equipment at the right time – no child should have to endure this. Through the Emergency Response Service we provide a child with the equipment they need when a situation has become critical or their health needs mean they just can’t wait any longer.”