With buggies for older children not available on the mainstream market, Cheshire mum Zoe Anderson was struggling to find a way to get her 11-year-old daughter out and about in the local countryside.
Lily Anderson, from Neston, has a chromosomal abnormality which has resulted in severe epilepsy, developmental delay, chronic respiratory problems and very low muscle tone. She has no head control and cannot sit unaided.
Now, with support from The Morgan Foundation, Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children has provided Lily with a £3,934 all-terrain buggy so she can go out into the countryside with her family and easily visit her grandparents’ farm.
Mum Zoe Anderson said: “Lily has a wheelchair, but to be honest it’s not very useful where we live because it is best used on even, flat surfaces. We had a specialist buggy for Lily when she was a lot younger, but she outgrew it. Despite this, before getting the replacement, we were still squeezing her into it – we limped along with it as long as we could.”
She added: “Lily was so uncomfortable she would start crying after about 20 minutes so I was having to say ‘no’ to most things the other two children wanted to do – and now I can say ‘yes’.” The new buggy – which offers appropriate postural support to help relieve her pain – even attaches to Zoe’s bike, so the family can tackle a local cycle trail together.”
With no funding available from statutory services and equipment costing almost £4,000, Zoe applied to Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children for help. Newlife is the UK’s largest charity provider of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness. The Morgan Foundation is working with Newlife to ensure more children with disabilities and terminal illness get the right equipment at the right time. This includes wheelchairs, buggies and walkers for mobility, specialist car seats and beds for safety and a range of other disability equipment including communication aids, walking frames, portable hoists and seating systems.
An initial donation of £450,000 – raised through a Morgan Foundation charity golf day and gala dinner in 2014 – has already helped dozens of children across North Wales, Merseyside, West Cheshire, North Shropshire and parts of the West Midlands get the vital equipment they need for everyday life. Now the Morgan Foundation has followed this up with an annual commitment of £100,000.
Steve Morgan, chairman of The Morgan Foundation, said: “Having a vital aid like this means Lily can get out and about with the family, in comfort and safety.”
Newlife CEO Sheila Brown added: “As local authority budget cuts continue to bite, more and more families are turning to charities like Newlife so their children can get vital equipment for everyday life. Having the support of The Morgan Foundation is an enormous boost for Newlife.
“We look forward to helping to transform more lives across The Morgan Foundation catchment area. Anyone struggling to access equipment through their statutory services should call our Newlife Nurse Helpline to discuss their individual situation.”
For further information about The Morgan Foundation visit the website, www.morganfoundation.co.uk or call 01829 782800.
If you would like to find out more about Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children and how to access its services, call the Newlife Nurse Helpline on 0800 902 0095 (free from UK mobiles and landlines) or go to www.newlifecharity.co.uk.
Pictured: Lily Anderson