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Disabled nine-year-old Timothy Dickson has taken the final lap of his spacewalk, completing his mission to raise funds for Newlife the

A Newtownards seven-year-old who has Autistic Spectrum Disorder will often hurt himself by running into walls or hitting himself in the face to gain the sensory feedback he needs, but this behaviour, along with chronic sleep difficulties, means his dad has to sleep next him to keep him calm and often him out in the car in the early hours to prevent the rest of the family being woken.

Callum Orr also has learning difficulties, is unable to speak and will be awake for several hours through the night, which leaves his parents, Jon and Rita, trying to care for him and older brother Lee, who is also on the autistic spectrum, on very little sleep.

Recognising the urgency of the situation, Newlife has already provided Callum with the loan of a SafeSpace Voyager bed, which has helped Callum settle better at night and given him somewhere safe to relax when he is finding things difficult. However the loan is only for a six month period while a permanent solution is sought and the family urgently need the permanent provision of a full size SafeSpace.

Now Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children is looking for ‘local heroes’ who can help us make this happen. We already have £1,659 towards this vital piece of equipment, which costs £4,977, but we still need £3,318.

Callum’s mum Rita said: “Having the voyager on loan has given Callum a sanctuary, an area of his own where he feels safe. It gives us peace of mind knowing that when he is in there he can’t hurt himself and he has now started going into the Voyager when he wakes in the early hours so Jon doesn’t have to take him out in the car as much.

“This means that we are all getting more rest which is particularly important for our elder son Lee – although he has Asperger’s and ADHD, he is in a mainstream school so when he is tired not functioning as well, they are less equipped to cope with him.”

She added: “Having a SafeSpace of his own would mean the world to Callum and to us as a family. The most distressing thing for me as his mum is when he tries to hurt himself, but the SafeSpace is a safe environment for him and it is big enough for us to be able to put other equipment in that will allow him to get sensory input without hurting himself.”

We need donors and fundraisers who want to really make a difference, helping us transform Callum’s everyday life. To find out how you can support Callum, go to Alternatively, contact the Newlife County Liaison Team on 01543 431 444, email

Newlife guarantees that 100 per cent of monies donated or fundraised in County Down will be used to specifically help children with disabilities and terminal illness in the county. Any money raised surplus to requirements for Callum will be used to help other local children.

Pictured: Callum Orr


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charity for disabled and terminally ill children, raising over £1,800!

Timothy, from Tuxford in Nottinghamshire, has Autism and Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, which affects his joints and causes chronic pain and fatigue, making it difficult to walk. Despite this, he bravely set out to raise £500 for Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children by walking 100km (66 miles) the equivalent distance between earth and the edge of space.

Now Timothy has raised almost four times as much as his original target – and his courage has won him an army of fans, including local villagers who lined the route of his lap and local fire fighters who gave Timothy a guard of honour as he passed the station. TV’s Professor Brian Cox and astronaut Tim Peake are also big fans – and Timothy was even contacted by the National Space Centre who are thrilled with Timothy’s achievement.

After taking his first steps on June 12 he planned 40 loops of his local village to complete the 100km (66 miles) by September 1, but he has been so determined he actually completed his mission five weeks early on July 23, five weeks ahead of schedule!

Mum Laura, said: “We did the last lap on Friday night and then a lap of honour on Saturday. He actually walked 121.4km in the end – a massive 166,000 steps in 24 days – I am so proud of him it’s ridiculous!

“With donations to the JustGiving page and other donations along the route it comes to just over £1,800 – we have also had some donation pledges, so we’d love it if we were able to get to £2,000.

“The whole experience has been amazing and so many people have become involved in supporting him as they can see just what a big deal this is for him. He has sent a big thank you out to everyone who has supported him during this mission for Newlife.”

Timothy wanted to raise funds for Newlife as the charity had previously provided a specialist bed to keep him safe through the night – and he knew that not all disabled children are able to receive the right equipment at the right time.

Laura added: “I still can’t believe my little wobbly boy had the understanding to want to do this and the physical ability to complete it, if you had told me a year ago he could do this I would have just laughed, especially as he still needed to use a buggy for longer journeys.

“He’s so chuffed with himself now for completing this and it’s been such a lovely bonding experience for us too, I will miss it now it’s over, but Timothy is drained now so I don’t think there will be any more walking for a while!

To donate to Timothy visit: