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A specialist car seat is keeping two-year-old Amaya safe and comfortable on journeys to hospital and clinic appointments – thanks to the fabulous fundraising activities of Central England Co-operative colleagues and customers.

Amaya Leighton, who lives with her parents and four-year-old brother in Gorleston, has Arthrogyposis which affects mobility; she is unable to walk or support her head, has dislocated hips and breathing difficulties which have resulted in a tracheostomy.

Mum Samara Leighton said: “Amaya has no head control and can’t sit upright; the car seat we were using is for a much younger child so she had outgrown it but a larger standard model wouldn’t have the right level of support to stop her head from flopping forwards. Also, because her hips are dislocated she can become very uncomfortable during journeys – we have always struggled keeping her comfy in the car.

“Amaya’s occupational therapist (OT) told us about specialist equipment that is available to help with all of this, but there is no local statutory funding available; then the OT mentioned Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children.”

Newlife is the UK’s largest charity provider of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness and has provided £181,756 of equipment for 155 children in Norfolk.

With the support of fabulous fundraisers at Central England Co-operative, Newlife has now delivered the £2,769 car seat to keep Amaya safe and comfortable.

Newlife has been Central England Co-operative’s staff-elected charity since 2012 – and colleagues and customers have raised £1.2million, which has in turn has helped fund specialist equipment like wheelchairs and walking frames, portable hoists and communication aids for more than 540 children in the retailer’s trading area.

Chris Frary, Manager at Central England Co-operative’s convenience store in Burgh Road, Bradwell, Great Yarmouth, said: “Central England Co-operative takes fundraising to help local communities very seriously, and we are committed to making a positive impact in the local areas in which we trade. Working with Newlife has provided a great opportunity for us to help make life easier for youngsters like Amaya.”

Newlife provides equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness through a range of services. Equipment Grants fund permanent provision; Emergency Equipment Loans support children with unstable, life-threatening or life-limiting illness and those who face injury due to the absence of appropriate equipment; Play Therapy Pods offer loans of sensory toys which aid development; Comfort Capsules help families of terminally ill children make memories. All services are accessed through the Newlife Nurse Helpline – 0800 902 0095 (free from UK mobiles and landlines).

To find out how you could help a child in the county, go to: Alternatively, call the Newlife County Liaison Team – tel no 01543 431 444 – or email

Pictured: Amaya Leighton