Leading UK children’s disability charity Newlife Foundation and Marks & Spencer celebrated the first anniversary of their grants partnership with the presentation of a £20,000 powered wheelchair to a teenager in Worcester.
Since the first ‘M&S grant’ was made on September 22nd, 2010, the high street giant has helped Newlife to provide £195,753.99 of disability equipment for 62 children across the UK. The partnership, however, goes back much further – to 2004 – with M&S helping to support hundreds of families of disabled children since then. By recycling returned products, the partnership is also in keeping with M&S’ commitment to send no operational waste to landfill by 2012 as part of Plan A, its eco and ethical programme.
The most recent ‘M&S grant’ recipient was Alexander Jordan, aged 16, from Worcester. Alexander – who has a progressive muscle degenerative condition resulting in loss of movement eventually leading to paralysis – was presented with the powered wheelchair which helps him stand and supports essential physiotherapy needs such as improving bone density, reducing skeletal deformities and maintaining muscle strength. As a nominated Olympic torchbearer, Alexander will be using the wheelchair to take part in the festivities for the 2012 London Games.
Alexander said: “I can’t really put into words what this means but want to thank Newlife and M&S for giving me my legs in time for college!”
Following good GCSE results, Alexander started a Btec in Applied Science course at Worcester Technical College in September. His mum Caroline said: “Alex is very into his sciences so the wheelchair means he can get up to the lab tables. It also gives him the independence he needs as a teenager, from reaching the counter at the cinema to standing up at a music gig. The sit-to-stand facility also means he can reach the higher shelves for me in the supermarket!”
She added: “We are so, so grateful. Alex’s chair is the single most important piece of equipment that he has. We really didn’t think that anyone would be able to help us because of the cost but this means he can continue to enjoy the better quality of life that his existing wheelchair has given him over the last four years.”
Pictured: Alexander Jordan, aged 16, from Worcester.