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CAN YOU HELP CONNIE SIT IN SAFETY?

Most children enjoy relaxing on the couch on a Sunday afternoon with the family or look forward to coming home after a long day at school, to lie on the sofa and watch their favourite T.V show. But eight-year-old Connie Green from Fobbing has never experienced this because she doesn’t have anywhere to sit safely. Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children is appealing for local heroes in Essex to help raise the funds needed to get Connie a special seat called a P-Pod. Connie has Cerebral Palsy and developmental delay, she is unable to walk and is a fulltime wheelchair user.

Connie’s condition causes her muscle tone to change, varying from too tight to too loose. She is in need of specialist seating that will give her a place to relax while supporting her posture. Her current seating options at home are her wheelchair or a functional seat – but both are very rigid and offer her little comfort. Mum Emma Green said: “Connie is totally reliant on adults for all her care needs – when it comes to changing her position it can be quite difficult at times because neither her wheelchair nor her functional seat offer any room for movement.”

The specialist seat will cost £1,327 and, as there is no local statutory service funding available, the family turned to Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children – the UK’s largest charitable provider of essential equipment to meet the specialist needs of children with disabilities and terminal illness – having heard about the charity through Connie’s Occupational Therapist.

Connie loves going to school; her week is spilt between a school for special needs children and a mainstream school where she has two carers to assist with her daily needs. Having the P-Pod will give her a place to relax with her family in safety and comfort after a long day. Emma added: “On a Sunday the rest of family flop around watching films but Connie never has a place to relax. She has complex medical needs and enjoys having a snooze. But if she falls asleep in her wheelchair or functional seat her head flops forward. It breaks my heart to see her so uncomfortable, I want her to have the quality of life that we have.” Newlife has provided 234 families in Essex with disability equipment – including beds, wheelchairs, seating and sensory aids – worth over £303,439.

If you would like to help Connie and her family, go to: https://newlifecharity.co.uk/Essex and click on the Donate Now button beside her story. The website includes information about how Newlife supports families of disabled and terminally ill children in Essex and ways in which local people can help.

Newlife guarantees that 100 per cent of the money donated to help Connie will be used to fund her specialist seat. Any surplus funding will help provide equipment for other disabled children in Essex.

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: Connie Green

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