A man from Stone who ran the Great North Run has raised over £1,400 for Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children to give back after they provided specialist equipment for their disabled son.
Liam Herbert ran the Great North Run half-marathon on Sunday, finishing with a time of 1 hour and 53 minutes, and in the process raised over £1,455 for Newlife, who provided an emergency loan of a specialist bed for his son Ben, who has a rare genetic syndrome called Pitt-Hopkins syndrome. This only occurs in about 1 in 225,000 to 300,000 people, and means Ben is severely learning disabled and non-verbal. Ben slept very little at night and would leave his bed and escape his room. Newlife stepped in to provide him with the loan of safety sleeper bed, while they were able to source a suitable full-time bed.
Now the family are urging others to help Newlife too by either taking on their own fundraising challenge or making a donation to the charity to help them continue theirvery important work in light of shortages left by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mum Leah said: “We have three kids that are disabled, but Newlife were there for us when nobody else would help.
“We were at our wits’ end because we could not keep Ben safe at night as he was becoming a danger to himself and his brothers. To have the equipment loan was great, and it proved that a safety sleeper was what was needed. This gave us the evidence to help convince the council that this was what was needed for the long-term solution, which they were then able to give him.”
As well as providing Ben with a specialist bed loan, Newlife were able to supply a Play Therapy Pod, which contains specialist sensory toys that are suited to his current stage of development. The pods are given to families on a 12 week loan and are self-contained and delivered direct to the door.
Mum Leah added: “When we went into lockdown, we had toys but as we couldn’t go outside he was getting very fed up. When the Play Therapy Pod came it was brilliant. It had lots of different things to stimulate him with. This was really useful to us because we had such limited support, like lots of disabled families in similar situations, everything just stopped because of the lockdown.”
Newlife is the largest charity provider of specialist equipment across the UK, through both grants and loans. Its unique Emergency Equipment Loan service provides loans of specialist equipment such as beds and buggies to families in crisis, often within just 72 hours. Newlife was able to provide over 500 equipment loans last year, despite the financial impacts of Covid-19, so thank you to Liam for being able to raise so much to help Newlife reach many more children this year!
You can donate to the JustGiving page for Liam Herbert and Newlife at https://bit.ly/3Ae0kBm
For more information about how to get involved with Newlife and to join in fundraising efforts, visit
For more information about services provided by Newlife, including Emergency Equipment Loans and the Play Therapy Pod service, visit www.newlifecharity.co.uk