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With the support of a children’s disability charity and fabulous local donors, devoted dad Eric Beverley is getting the specialist equipment he needs so he can move his 11-year-old daughter around his Gainsborough home in safety.

Separated from his former partner, Eric looks after his three children on alternate weekends and shares school holidays. Daughter Portia has cerebral palsy, having been born prematurely, and is a full-time wheelchair user.

Eric said: “I want to do the best I can for my children and continue to play a part in their lives – but I need to know that Portia is safe. At the moment, when it comes to bedtime or bathtime – upstairs – I lift Portia onto my waist, she wraps her arms around me and I have to walk up the stairs holding on to the banister rail.

“She helps me the best she can. However, a few years ago I had two discs removed from my back and I have been suffering with loss of feeling in my legs. I don’t want to risk dropping Portia if my legs give way.”

A specialist stair climber will help ensure Portia’s safety when she is staying with her dad. This equipment costs £5,418 – and fabulous local donors have between them raised £1,195 towards the equipment. This has included £600 raised through Tapfest music event at The Black Bull in Gainsborough.

The balance of more than £4,200 has been paid by Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children.

Statutory services will not provide the stair climber because Eric is not Portia’s main carer – so he turned to leading UK children’s disability charity Newlife Foundation for help.

Newlife has provided more than £11million of specialist equipment to disabled and terminally ill children around the UK since 2005. Last year (2013/14) the total was £2,088,105 – a 33 per cent increase on the previous 12-month period.

Newlife CEO Sheila Brown, OBE, said: “Newlife really changes the lives of disabled children – and their families – across the UK. We are delighted to be able to help Eric care for his daughter, and are very grateful for the support of the local donors who have contributed.”

To find out more about the range of equipment grant and loan support services offered by the charity, call the Newlife Nurse Helpline on freephone 0800 902 0095 or email

Pictured: Portia Beverley with her dad Eric.

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