The family of Newcastle-under-Lyme boy William Kirk-Bradshaw are backing the launch of an appeal to provide specialist equipment for children with disabilities in Staffordshire.
William’s mum is so pleased with the car seat that gets him to and from school in safety that she is urging local people to help change the lives of other local children.
Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children has helped 688 families in Staffordshire through equipment grants and loans totalling more than £888,563, so we know there is a very real county need.
That’s why Newlife – the largest charity funder of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness in the UK – is launching the Newlife Staffordshire Fund – www.newlifecharity.co.uk/staffordshire. It is an opportunity for local people to help local disabled children and every penny donated or fundraised in Staffordshire is guaranteed to support families in the county.
In this way we aim to help more children, more quickly.
Special disability equipment including wheelchairs, walkers, beds, seating and communication aids can help give children independence, keep them safe, relieve pain and overcome challenges. For instance, you could help a child be discharged from hospital, take their first steps or kick a football with their friends. . . .
You can help Newlife help more children like William (full story below) who was provided with a £665 specialised car seat that has prevented social isolation for him and his family who can now travel in the car safely. At present another 33 children need equipment totalling £23,774.
Together we can really change the lives of children with disability and terminal illness – supporting them to experience and enjoy life and all that we take for granted.
Statutory services in Staffordshire often have a responsibility to make equipment provision – but when help is declined, Newlife steps in. The charity challenges many such decisions and has an impressive success rate. However, where we are unable to overturn these decisions, we provide the equipment ourselves through our range of grant and loan services. We do this with the support of front-line health professionals across Staffordshire who have helped Newlife help local children in real need.
The Newlife Staffordshire Fund will support equipment provision for under-19s facing any significant disability, whether acquired through birth defect, prematurity, accident or illness.
Vitally, the Staffordshire Fund website – www.newlifecharity.co.uk/staffordshire – will enable local people to find out who needs help in their county right now and highlight the support the charity gives vulnerable families. It includes contact details for the Newlife County Liaison Team – telephone number 01543 431 444 or email [email protected] – and shows specific ways people can help support children with disability and terminal illness and their families.
That might involve taking part in a local sporting challenge, give you information on how to organise a fundraising event – or even ask you to donate £5 today! Volunteers are also needed to help raise awareness of what we do and how we do it.
We hope that by launching the Newlife Staffordshire Fund, children with disabilities or terminal illness in the county won’t have to go without the equipment they need for everyday life.
Newlife Foundation supports families in Staffordshire through a range of free services:
Emergency equipment loans
Sensory and developmental toy ‘pod’ loans.
LAURA IS NO LONGER A “PRISONER” THANKS TO WILLIAM’S NEW EQUIPMENT
New equipment for her son has made the world of difference to Newcastle-under-Lyme mum Laura Kirk-Bradshaw.
Two-year-old William has Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and his behaviour can be unpredictable. With no awareness of danger and limited communication skills, he needed a specialist car seat to keep him safe while travelling.
Laura explained: “Before we had this chair I felt like a prisoner because I couldn’t get out.
“William was breaking out of a regular seat. My parents are in Nantwich, a 14 mile trip, and I just couldn’t visit them with William – it needed my husband driving the car and me sitting in the back.
“The situation was very dangerous for him and for the driver. He would get out of his seat and not get back in again. I had to hold him everywhere we went.
“Newlife were quick to get us the chair, which really has changed our life. I am now be able to go to the child support child centre and meet up with other parents.”
Pictured: William Kirk-Bradshaw