A simple piece of specialist equipment will give six-year-old India Smith more opportunities to get out and about in her Cotswold village.
India, from Stow on the Wold, has hyper peripheral vision (where peripheral vision is more concentrated than central vision) along with extreme sensory processing difficulties and a severe learning disability. She has no awareness of danger and becomes easily agitated.
India’s family currently uses a standard buggy to get her out and about in the village, but, says mum Briony Atkinson: “When she has a sensory meltdown and can’t cope she will throw herself around and try to get out of the buggy. She has tipped it over in the past and I have ripped the tendons in my shoulders just trying to keep her upright.”
She needs a specialist buggy with an anti-tip feature; in addition, its deep sides and additional shades would help prevent visual overload and its five-point harness would keep India safe. The equipment is also more suited to rough terrain, to cope with unmade pathways and grassed areas.
Briony said: “At the moment we can’t go anywhere crowded or where there is a lot of movement, which is unfair on my 11-year-old son. Even simple things like going to my son’s school summer fete, which is held in a field, is really difficult.”
With statutory services unable to offer the family a buggy, Briony turned to leading UK children’s disability charity Newlife Foundation for help with funding the £2,158 piece of equipment.
Newlife has funded 99 Equipment Grants for children in Gloucestershire, totalling £139,368. With grant awards last year (2013/14) up 33 per cent to £2,088,105, the charity is increasingly looking to ‘local heroes’ to help children in individual counties. Newlife guarantees that 100 per cent of all monies donated or fundraised in Gloucestershire can be ring-fenced to specifically provide equipment for disabled and terminally ill children within the county.
If you would like to raise money to help fund a buggy for India, the Newlife Community Fundraising Team can be contacted on 0800 988 4640 (free from UK landlines). Any monies collected surplus to requirements for India would be used to provide specialist equipment for another disabled or terminally ill child in Gloucestershire.
Pictured: India Smith
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