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A simple piece of specialist equipment is all that is needed to keep little Elisha Mae Clarke safe and comfortable on car journeys – and Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children is appealing to local people in West Yorkshire to help.

Elisha, aged four and from the Ovenden area of Halifax, has the neuromuscular condition Rett Syndrome combined with the spinal condition scoliosis and epilepsy. She is losing her acquired skills and is becoming more dependent on her family for everyday care needs.

Elisha’s existing standard car seat is not only too small for her, it doesn’t offer the appropriate support for her head or body.

Mum Kirstie Aitchison said: “There isn’t much support for Elisha in a standard car seat, and getting her in and out of it is becoming harder.”

A booster seat isn’t appropriate for her and standard child seats just aren’t big enough.

Kirstie added: “Her occupational therapist told us about specialist travel seats and Elisha has been able to try one – she seemed comfortable and much happier. This equipment will also help prevent further problems with her hips by keeping her legs in line.”

With the specialist car seat costing £684 and no statutory funding available, Kirstie turned to the UK’s leading charity funder of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness – Newlife Foundation.

In West Yorkshire, Newlife has provided in excess of £348,000 of disability equipment – including beds, wheelchairs, seating and sensory aids – for 290 children.

However, demand on Newlife services has shot up in recent months, and the charity is currently working with the families of 22 children in West Yorkshire who need equipment totalling more than £33,000. If you would like to help Elisha get the specialist car seat she needs so she can travel in safety, go to to find out how to donate.

Any monies collected surplus to requirements for Elisha would be used to provide specialist equipment for another disabled or terminally ill child in West Yorkshire. In response to the growing need in the county, earlier this year the charity launched its Newlife West Yorkshire Fund. The fund’s website – – enables local people to find out who needs help in their county right now and highlight the support the charity gives families. It includes contact details for the Newlife County Liaison Team – tel no 01543 431 444 or email – and shows specific ways people can help support children with disability and terminal illness and their families.

Pictured: Elisha Mae Clarke