Three-year-old Riley Allen from Branston, Burton on Trent, has no awareness of danger, and when the world around him becomes too stressful he will run off, putting himself at risk.
With Riley having grown out of his standard pushchair and nothing larger available through high street stores, mum Melanie Allen urgently needed specialist support so the family could get out and about. Thanks to a partnership between Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children and Central England Co-operative, Riley now has the specialist buggy he needs and outings like trips to the park are back on the family ‘to do’ list.
Riley is on the Autistic Spectrum and has challenging behaviours. Melanie said: “He had outgrown his old pushchair so his feet were dragging on the floor. Also, I was constantly worried about him wandering off so I would always hold his hand – but sometimes you just need two hands to do things, like pay for items in a shop.
“Now we have the larger buggy we can ensure he is safe, secured by a harness that he can’t wriggle out of. The buggy makes him feel safer too, which helps when he is getting stressed by the world around him.
“It is definitely helping us to get out and about more as a family, which is important because that has a positive impact on his two brothers as well.”
Newlife has been Central England Co-operative’s staff-elected charity since May 2012. Co-op colleagues and customers have raised more than £1million, supporting 460 children to get the essential equipment they need.
Gemma Highton, manager at Central England Co-operative’s Branston store, said: “Central England Co-operative takes fundraising to help local communities very seriously, and we are committed to making a positive impact in the local areas in which we trade. Working with Newlife has provided a great opportunity for us to help make life easier for youngsters like Riley.”
To find out more about Newlife’s work in Staffordshire, go to: www.newlifecharity.co.uk/staffordshire. The website 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 children with disability and terminal illness and their families in the county.
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
Pictured: Riley Allen