Philip Banks, aged 37 from Bradford sadly passed away on May 4 – he had a rare genetic condition which resulted in him having complex medical needs leaving him unable to walk and talk. In honour of Philip, his family asked all who attended his funeral to donate all their old pairs of shoes to an initiative run by shoe giant Schuh with money raised going to the charity Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children.
The shoes were donated to Schuh which is currently running a recycling campaign called ‘Sell Your Sole’ usually offering customers a £10 Schuh voucher for every pair donated for recycling to the store – however this was such a heartfelt act that, Schuh decided to donate £1,000 in memory of Philip which will go towards funding specialist equipment for disabled and terminally ill children within West Yorkshire.
Philip’s sister Deborah Branton said: “From a young age, Philip needed to wear special boots which he found uncomfortable and heavy. Not wanting to wear them all the time he would frequently take them off. However, it seemed to spark a bit of a fascination with him and rather than wear shoes on his feet, he began to hold one up by the laces and spin it round above his head like a mobile.”
The family had no idea that they would receive 299 pairs of shoes which would raise £128 in recycling weight. If that wasn’t enough the family have set up a Just giving page with the hopes of raising £750 for Newlife – however they have raised a staggering £1662 in total so far.
Deborah added: “Everyone who knew Philip made the association between him and the shoes so it seemed really appropriate when we discovered the link in being able to recycle unwanted shoes to raise funds for Newlife Foundation.
It seemed the most appropriate way in which to honour his memory and help other children with disabilities at the same time. Looking at the kindness and generosity that has been shown, it’s amazing what an old pair of shoes can achieve. We would not have been able to do this if Philip had not made such an impact on all the people he interacted with.”
In response to growing need for essential equipment Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children – the UK’s largest charitable provider of essential equipment to meet the specialist needs of children with disabilities and terminal illness – launched Newlife Local in West Yorkshire –https://newlifecharity.co.uk/WestYorkshire – to give local people the opportunity to donate to children who need specialist equipment within the county – there are currently 28 children who are in need of specialist equipment totalling £40,468. Already 376 families have been provided with specialist equipment totalling £442,678.
For full details of Newlife Foundation’s range of practical support for disabled and terminally ill children and their families, call the Newlife Nurse Helpline – 0800 902 0095 (free from UK landlines and mobiles) – or go to: https://newlifecharity.co.uk/