Seven-year-old Charlie from Deepcut is in need of a special chair that will give him essential postural support so he can sit in comfort and safety. Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children is appealing to local heroes in Surrey to help get Charlie the equipment he desperately needs.
Newlife is the largest charity funder of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness in the UK and has already raised £467 towards a specialist seat which costs £1,403; this leaves £936 to fund.
Charlie has Cerebral Palsy and Epilepsy, this has resulted in his left side being weaker than the right. Charlie is unable to walk and is a full time wheelchair user, but he can only sit in it for short periods of time as it is quite rigid. His wheelchair offers him no head support and when he becomes tired he finds it difficult to hold his head up – resulting in it leaning to one side.
Charlie has a special chair called a PPod however because it was second-hand when the family received it, and was not moulded to Charlie’s body this piece of equipment is also not suitable for him long-term. Charlie needs a completely different type of special chair to his current provisions the wheelchair and PPod.
Mum Laura Grainger said: “We’ve struggled to find a suitable chair for Charlie he’s never really been fully supported by one chair.
“The PPod gives his head some support but as it’s not moulded to his body shape the chair isn’t providing him with all the postural support he needs, and his wheelchair offers him zero comfort and no head support. Between both chairs Charlie isn’t able to find much comfort.”
The specialist seat will offer a comfy seating option that will also support his posture and safety needs. Charlie loves watching sports and listening to his favourite band Fleetwood Mac – the special seat will enable him to do these things in a safe and comfy position with his head fully supported. Charlie will also be able to spend more time with his twin brother Bobby.
Laura added: “Charlie has trialled the seat he needs and absolutely loved it he didn’t want to get out of it! He was sitting so much better because the chair kept him in a more upright position and gave his posture the extra support it needed. You could see straight away how comfortable he was.”
Charlie’s is one of 22 families in the county who currently need specialist equipment totalling £34,383. That’s why Newlife has a dedicated Surrey Fund – https://newlifecharity.co.uk/Surrey – which gives local people the opportunity to help local disabled children. Every penny donated or fundraised in the county is guaranteed to support families in the area.
To specifically support Charlie, go the website and click on the Donate button beside his story. Any money raised surplus to requirements for Charlie will be used to help other local children.
The website includes contact details for the Newlife County Liaison Team – 01543 431 44401543 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.
Pictured: Charlie with mum Laura