Dave Sconce was a man on a mission when he took on this year’s Chester Marathon – going the extra mile to raise vital funding for a children’s disability charity which has helped two sets of family friends.
Dave, aged 37, from Frodsham near Chester, is a local government accountant, so with one eye on the financial opportunities of taking on a marathon challenge he was keen to help say ‘thank you’ to Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children – and support other children with disabilities in Cheshire.
He said: “Running has been a hobby of mine for a little while but this was the first marathon I have attempted. Training went well, but was difficult because I was trying to fit it in around home life – I have two young daughters. I finished the Chester Marathon in three hours and 15 minutes, which was better than expected. The best thing about it is I raised just over £500 for Newlife.”
Newlife – the UK’s largest charity provider of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness – had previously funded special-needs car seats for two families, living in Farndon and Chester, who are friends of Dave’s.
Friend Ilmarie Braun, who lives with her husband and two young sons in Farndon, said: “We all met when our oldest children were babies and have been firm friends ever since. Dave, who is a keen runner, wanted to support a worthwhile charity and Newlife seemed like the obvious choice because it has helped not only my son Edward but the daughter of another friend too.”
Ilmarie’s young son Edward has West Syndrome, which is characterised by epileptic seizures, a visual impairment and developmental delay. Edward needs additional support when travelling to keep him safe, in case he has a seizure, and his specialist car seat also has a swivel base to help his parents get him in and out of the vehicle easily.
Now Dave’s fundraising is providing a specialist car seat for three-year-old Matthew Green from Frodsham, who has achondroplasia, and is helping two other children get physiotherapy equipment and a power pack for a manual wheelchair.
Matthew’s mum Stephanie Cawte said: “With his type of dwarfism it is getting harder to get Matthew in and out of the car as he gets heavier and it is easy for him to get his arms out of the harness at every opportunity. The specialist equipment we need has a swivel base, so Matthew will be able to help me get him into the seat, and a five-point safety harness will keep him secure. It will also last him until he is about seven years old.”
Stephanie added: “There is no local statutory funding available for specialist car seats, but the cost – £378 – was a struggle for us. That’s when Matthew’s complex needs nurse told us about Newlife.”
The charity has helped to provide equipment for 422 children with disabilities and terminal illness in Cheshire through a range of practical support services. To find out more about how Newlife supports families in the county, go to: www.newlifecharity.co.uk/cheshire.
Right now, Newlife is working with a further 22 families in Cheshire with equipment needs totalling £21,740. If you would like to help a local child, go to the website; alternatively, contact the Newlife County Liaison Team on 01543 431 444, email [email protected]
Pictured: Matthew Green