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Lichfield four-year-old Daniel Fernyhough will soon be able to travel in safety, thanks to fabulous fundraisers at Central England Co-operative which has its headquarters in the city.

Over the past two years, Central England Co-operative colleagues and customers across the Midlands have raised more than £520,000 to fund specialist equipment for disabled and terminally ill children in their trading area. So far, 262 children have been provided with vital equipment including wheelchairs, buggies, beds, stair climbers, portable hoists and communication aids.

Now Daniel is the latest to benefit; he will shortly be getting a specialist car seat.

Daniel has a diagnosis of Downs Syndrome, a heart condition and asthma and is undergoing screening for ADHD. He currently uses a standard car seat when travelling – but because he can get out of the seat belt and has a tendency to clamber around the vehicle and become uncontrollable the family have had to fashion their own handmade harness.

Mum Louise Fernyhough said: “Daniel doesn’t like being in a car seat so he will have a meltdown – it is awful. If he gets out, because he has no awareness of danger, he will try to open the car doors and windows. Having him in a normal car seat isn’t just a safety risk to Daniel, it affects everyone else in the vehicle.”

Specialist car seats are significantly more expensive than standard models; this one for Daniel is £718. So Louise turned to Staffordshire-based children’s disability charity Newlife Foundation for help.

With the current support of Central England Co-operative, Newlife was able to respond quickly – and Daniel will soon be taking delivery of his car seat.

Louise added: “As Daniel is getting bigger – he will shortly be joining Rocklands School in Lichfield – it will make journeys so much easier; we will have peace of mind, knowing he is safe.”

Louise and Daniel met Central England Co-operative Trading Manager Charlotte Middleton at Lichfield’s Boley Park store this week (Tuesday). Charlotte said: ““As a regional retailer we always ensure that our staff-elected charity supports people in need in our trading area. We are delighted to have been able to help Daniel and his family in this way.

“Colleagues at Boley Park are holding an exercise bike challenge in store on Saturday 6 September so we can continue to help more local children. Our customers have been amazing in their support of our fundraising efforts so far and hope they will be able to help us help more families get the vital equipment their children need.”

For full details of Newlife Foundation’s range of practical support for disabled and terminally ill children and their families, call the Newlife Nurse Helpline – freephone 0800 902 0095 – or go to:

Pictured:  Louise and Daniel Fernyhough with Central England Co-operative Trading Manager Charlotte Middleton

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