The UK’s largest charity funder of children’s disability equipment is calling on people across Yorkshire for their help, as the number of families who urgently need vital equipment has reached an all-time high.
Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children CEO Sheila Brown, OBE, said: “We are currently working with 61 families in Yorkshire who all urgently need specialist equipment. The need currently stands at £83,155. And we are continually receiving new applications.
“The equipment they need is all vital for their children’s everyday lives – and the situation will only get worse as statutory services narrow the range of support they offer.”
Newlife is the UK’s largest charity provider of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness. Demand on its resources has increased by 26 per cent in the past 12 months.
Sheila added: “Newlife works with hundreds of national retailers and manufacturers to operate its own successful recycling and retail business which funds core services, however we have received more applications for vital equipment from desperate families than ever before. I am worried that, with demand continuing to rise, we may not be able to help every child. Public support has never been needed more.
“For many the right equipment at the right time not only relieves pain and isolation, it helps prevent long-term deterioration and enables children to make the most of life’s opportunities. In some cases, the equipment we provide means that children can be discharged home from hospital and into the care of their families. For others, having a hi-tech wheelchair means they can continue with their education or specialist supportive seating gets them out of bed and back at the heart of family life.”
She added: “I know this is a busy time for families as they start thinking about the festive season, but I am urging Yorkshire Evening Post readers to spare a minute to consider how they could help improve a disabled child’s life this Christmas. All fundraising and donations can be restricted to help change the life of a disabled child in your county. And we let everyone know how their money has been spent.”
Newlife – www.newlifecharity.co.uk – has provided specialist equipment for 1,190 children in Yorkshire, at a cost of £1,176,242. As well as awarding grants, the charity also works with families to offer Emergency Equipment Loans, often within 72 hours of an application being made, a Play Therapy Pod service for those with complex needs and Comfort Capsules so families of terminally ill children can make memories together.
To find out how the charity supports families in your area, go to the website home page and click on the County Map. You can donate to your County Fund through the website, or alternatively, contact the Newlife County Liaison Team on 01543 431 444, email [email protected]
One of the 61 children in Yorkshire who currently needs your help is eight-year-old Kyra Lodge from Pontefract.
Kyra has an extremely rare blood disease as well as Cerebral Palsy and developmental delay. She has no awareness of danger and would tear the padding from the sides of her old bed and eat the foam filling, putting her at risk of choking. In order to keep her safe at night, Kyra and her mum were having to share a bed – but that meant they only averaged a couple of hours sleep a night.
With no statutory services funding available for the right bed for Kyra, the family turned to Newlife Foundation, which has provided a safe sleeping environment on loan.
Mum Heather said: “Kyra doesn’t sleep very well at the best of times and will often bang around her bed until someone goes in to see her. The loan bed is working wonders. She will happily go to bed on her own, which never happened before, and she will settle herself – Kyra is now getting about eight hours sleep, which is amazing as before she would get about two or three.”
But Kyra needs a permanent bed of her own – and Newlife is looking for local heroes to help make this happen.
If you would like to help Kyra get her own safe place to sleep, go to www.newlifecharity.co.uk/westyorkshire and click on the Donate button next to Kyra’s story. Alternatively, contact the Newlife County Liaison Team on 01543 431 444, email [email protected] Any money raised surplus to requirements for Kyra will be used to help other local children.
Pictured: Kyra Lodge