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After Forest Hill mum Shona Elliott spent months lobbying local statutory services for a specialist buggy so she could get her young son out and about, she turned in desperation to a children’s disability charity – which delivered the equipment two days later.

Twenty-month-old Harry Elliott has a life-limiting condition that affects his development and movement. He has Cerebral Palsy and experiences several seizures a day. His parents were using a standard pushchair to get him to essential medical appointments, but because they had to prop him up with pillows and cushions – and he still sat awkwardly – they were reluctant to take him out.

Shona said: “Getting the specialist buggy has been revolutionary for us. It has a pommel and under-arm supports as well as a lot of additional padding to keep Harry upright and posturally comfortable. He loves it and is so much happier because he doesn’t have to concentrate on sitting so he can interact more with the world around him.

“The seat swivels to face me when I am pushing him so that when I take him out on his own I can monitor him more easily. And the swivel seat combined with the option to higher and lower it means we can pull Harry up to a table to feed him when we are out.”

Due to Harry’s complex condition, good postural support is essential to help prevent further health issues.

Shona added: “Having the buggy means Harry comes everywhere with me. It is important to us that he has the best quality of life possible. He loves being outdoors and particularly likes to watch sunlight coming through the trees. As it’s summer-time we like to get Harry out as often as we can – but we also have the appropriate weatherproofing for the buggy so we’re not prevented from going out, whatever the weather.”

She added: “There is a sensory music garden within Horniman Gardens in Forest Hill and Harry loves to go there to listen to all the sounds.”

The buggy was provided by Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children through its Emergency Equipment Loan service. Newlife is the UK’s largest charity provider of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness.

Emergency Equipment Loans are for children with unstable, life-threatening or life-limiting illness and to help those who face injury due to the absence of appropriate equipment. The service aims to deliver and install equipment support within 72 hours.

This is one of a range of Newlife services: Equipment Grants fund permanent provision; Play Therapy Pods offer loans of sensory toys which aid development; Comfort Capsules help families of terminally ill children make memories; Newlifeable takes redundant equipment and refurbishes it to meet national standards.

Newlife has helped 815 children in Greater London, with equipment totalling £1,016,408. However, the charity is currently working with another 75 families with equipment needs of £74,575. If you think you can help, go to: Alternatively, contact the Newlife County Liaison Team on 01543 431 444 or email

Newlife guarantees that 100 per cent of monies donated or fundraised in Greater London will be used to specifically help children with disabilities and terminal illness in the area.

Pictured: Harry Elliott