An eight-year old girl from the Delapre area of Northampton received (December 16) an extra special Christmas delivery – thanks to the fabulous fundraising efforts of a county church group.
A series of community sales has seen the children of Holy Trinity Church in Deanshanger raise almost £3,000 to provide a safe sleeping area for little Chloe Gordon.
Chloe has Cerebral Palsy, learning disabilities and sensory processing difficulties and is in danger of hurting herself when she gets frustrated. She has a specialist bed – called a SafeSpace – which she sleeps in at home. This equipment is, in effect, a room within a room, which keeps her safe.
Mum Charlie Gordon said: “We don’t get any respite care provided through local statutory services so the only respite is from family helping out. Chloe outgrew her old travel bed a couple of years ago so she hasn’t been able to stay anywhere else but at home since then. We also have a young son, and haven’t been able to go away as a family in over two years – we have relatives in Scotland, but visiting them has been out of the question.”
She added: “Having the new equipment will mean a huge relief for us knowing Chloe will be safe – it is fully padded so she can’t hurt herself.”
Charlie and her husband Paul contacted leading UK children’s disability charity Newlife Foundation for help to provide a portable version of the SafeSpace for Chloe. And now – with support from the fabulous fundraisers at Holy Trinity Church – the family received the equipment in time for Christmas.
Led by Deanshanger residents Elly Hance and Rosemary Skinner, the church children are keen supporters of Newlife Foundation and have been working in response to an appeal by the charity for ‘local heroes’ to come forward and specifically help families across Northamptonshire.
The children have been involved in a series of ‘Sparkle Parties’ selling jewellery donated to Newlife Foundation by High Street store chains. In addition, the children have been involved in a series of craft-making activities – supported by their family, friends and church members.
Elly said: “When I found out how Newlife is helping local children I wanted to do what I could. Deanshanger has a strong community spirit and villagers have been very supportive. We are delighted to be able to help Chloe and her family.”
Due to Newlife Foundation’s social enterprise business underwriting all administrative costs, every penny raised in the village has been used to fund Chloe’s specialist equipment.
Newlife Fundraising Manager Nora Smith said: “This is a fabulous achievement by the children of Holy Trinity Church – and the villagers of Deanshanger. Their contribution will really make a difference.”
Newlife has provided 101 Equipment Grants totalling £170,740 for disabled and terminally ill children in Northamptonshire. In 2013/14 the number of Newlife Equipment Grants awarded nationally rose by 33 per cent (to £2,088,105), as statutory services budget cuts continue to bite. As a result, Newlife is looking to ‘local heroes’ to help the charity continue its work in Northamptonshire.
If you would like to help another family of a disabled or terminally ill child in the county, the Newlife Community Fundraising Team can be contacted on 0800 988 4640 (free from UK landlines) or email [email protected]
Pictured: Chloe Gordon