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Three-year-old Daisy Locke from Winchester was the ‘star of the evening’ when she and her parents joined the Secretary of State for Disabled people, Health and Work Penny Mordaunt at a House of Commons celebration to mark the 25th anniversary of Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children.

The event saw around 100 supporters of Newlife – the UK’s largest charity provider of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness – gather last week (October 28) to welcome the organisation’s Impact Report 2016. This outlines how the charity has developed to meet the growing needs of families of disabled and terminally ill children and calls on government and charities to work together to create a better future.

To view the Impact Report and hear the stories of some of the families helped, go to:

Newlife CEO Sheila Brown, OBE, said: “The Newlife vision is to give children with disabilities the very best chance in life, through equipment and medical research and by campaigning so their needs are known and understood.”

Newlife Head of Operations Stephen Morgan added: “The highlight of the event for many of the guests – who included Penny Maudant and other MPs and representatives of leading national businesses – was to meet Daisy and her family. She was the star of the evening – and rightly so.”

Newlife has supported the Locke family by providing a specialist buggy and seating for Daisy, who has a condition called Hemimegaloencaphaly which has resulted in epilepsy as well as developmental delay and left-sided weakness.

Daisy underwent an 11-hour operation at Great Ormond Street Hospital to disconnect the two sides of her brain in a bid to halt her seizures and help develop her mobility and cognitive skills.

Following surgery she needed a specialist buggy to keep her posturally supported and Daisy’s occupational therapist was concerned that any delay could affect her long-term health. With nothing available through local statutory services, Newlife stepped in to plug the equipment gap.

Mum Kate said: “Daisy uses this buggy on a daily basis and it has been really important in helping her posture and strength. Her occupational therapist has said how much her posture has improved. We think that’s mostly down to the buggy.”

In fact, she has gone from strength to strength and is now able to take her first tentative steps – with a little help from mum and dad.

Newlife has provided specialist equipment for almost 11,000 children all across the UK, including 415 in Hampshire. To find out more about how Newlife supports families in the county, go to:

Pictured: parents Will and Kate Locke with Daisy and Newlife Policy Development Manager Clare Dangerfield (right).