Four-year-old Zander Symms enjoys getting out and about with his family, which is made easier thanks to the intervention of a children’s charity that has provided specialist disability equipment.
Zander, from Rotherham, has a heart condition and a diagnosis of autism.
Mum Cassandra Symms said: “Because of his heart condition, Zander gets tired very quickly when we are out, too tired to even use a boogie board attached to his younger brother Ozzy’s buggy. It’s not so bad on the school run, but it’s a bit of a nightmare if we want to go out.”
As Ozzy is just 20 months old, Cassandra needed a specialist double buggy with additional harnessing to stop Zander running off and a cover to provide him with a comforting environment.
Fortunately, Cassandra knew who to contact . . . Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children’s Nurse Helpline.
Newlife is the largest charity funder of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness in the UK. It provides equipment through grants and loans, supporting many hundreds of families each year. In addition, it offers refurbished equipment through its innovative service Newlifeable.
As many as 250,000 disabled children in the UK currently do not have the vital equipment they need for everyday life – and yet Newlife estimates there is £90million of disability equipment currently sitting, unused, in individual local authority stores.
Newlife decided to act and launched Newlifeable – which takes redundant equipment, refurbishes it and makes it available to families in real need, wherever they are in the UK.
Newlife Head of Operations Stephen Morgan said: “The number of children in need around the UK is rising but the budgets set for provision through statutory services are declining at local levels. So new and innovative ways must be found to make provision and it is simply a waste of resources for organisations to hold equipment they don’t need. Newlifeable demonstrates the importance of getting this equipment back into circulation nationally.”
Cassandra found exactly what she was looking for on the Newlifeable website page – www.newlifeable.co.uk. She said: “The all-terrain buggy is a life-saver. Zander has no awareness of danger and doesn’t stop to think before running into the road – so now we have the buggy I have peace of mind knowing he is secure when we go out. It also means he doesn’t get over-tired and we can all enjoy being out longer.”
Right now, there are another 18 disabled and terminally ill children in South Yorkshire who need your help to get the specialist equipment that will really change their lives. That’s why the charity has set up the Newlife South Yorkshire Fund – www.newlifecharity.co.uk/southyorkshire. It is an opportunity for local people to help local disabled children and every penny donated or fundraised in South Yorkshire is guaranteed to support vulnerable families in the county.
The Newlife South Yorkshire Fund website page includes contact details for the Newlife County Liaison Team – tel no 01543 431 444 or email [email protected] – and shows specific ways people can help support local disabled children and their families.
Pictured: Zander Symms