With summer fast approaching, the family of a Staines five-year-old urgently need a specialist buggy so they can enjoy the local parks and use public transport for days out.
Little Cheyanna Rendell – a pupil at Manor Mead Special School in Shepperton – has Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy, which affects her mobility, and a severe learning disability. She uses a manual wheelchair when she is in school, but this is too heavy to push over grass and too bulky to easily access local buses and trains.
Mum Tina Rendell said: “I don’t drive so we rely on public transport. Unfortunately, using Cheyanna’s wheelchair, it is near enough impossible to get out and about. We desperately need a specialist buggy so she can join in simple things like outings to the park and going on walks with her brothers. She also has regular medical appointments at hospitals across London – including Evelina Children’s Hospital and St George’s.”
Cheyanna’s cerebral palsy means she is not able to support her head and body, so she needs a buggy with a pommel to stop her from slipping, under-arm and head supports to keep her upright and a ‘waistcoat’ style safety harness.
Local statutory services have provided the wheelchair which Cheyanna requires to access school transport so will not fund additional mobility equipment. The buggy she needs will cost £1,957 – so Cheyanna’s parents turned to leading children’s disability charity Newlife Foundation for help.
Newlife supports thousands of families of disabled and terminally ill children across the UK through its Nurse Helpline and range of practical equipment support services. Last year alone (2013/14), Newlife provided specialist equipment for 1,303 children totalling £2,088,105. This was a 33 per cent jump on the previous year – reflecting the increasing need as statutory services’ budget cuts continue to bite.
Greater London remains one of the three top areas for demand for Newlife services. The charity has funded 408 Equipment Grants for disabled and terminally ill children in the area, totalling £662,545.
Newlife CEO Sheila Brown, OBE, said: “We can expect to see demand for Newlife services continue to rise across London and the South-East so we are increasingly looking to ‘local heroes’ to donate or fundraise to help provide essential disability equipment. We are not talking about luxuries, but items designed to support the basic needs of everyday living.”
Newlife operates a successful social enterprise business which funds its core services. This enables the charity to guarantee that 100 per cent of any monies donated or fundraised in Greater London can be ring-fenced to specifically help disabled and terminally ill children in the area.
If you would like to help Cheyanna get out and about with her brothers, 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.
Any monies collected surplus to requirements for Cheyanna would be used to provide specialist equipment for another disabled or terminally ill child in the London area.
Tina said: “Cheyanna loves nothing more than going out and seeing different places – that’s when she is at her happiest. Getting a new specialist buggy would be a lifesaver for the whole family.”
Pictured: Cheyanna Rendell
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