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A Durham teenager is the youngest person to be awarded the title of Charity Champion by a national charity for children with disabilities.

Newlife Foundation granted 14-year-old Nicola Clarke the award due to her hard work and determination along with a novel idea that has become much in demand.

“I am so proud of Nicola and all she has achieved for Disabled Children with Newlife,” said Kevin Lowe National Volunteer Officer. “Her fantastic efforts have raised so much money to help make life for children with disabilities better.

“She is our youngest Volunteer Champion, but I think she is a shining example to people not only of her age but to everyone. She should be very proud of all she does.”

With inspiration from a friend and wheelchair user Merry James, Nicola started raising money at Blackhill Baptist Church for Newlife in August 2012 and came up with a number of ways to raise money. The teenager then came up with the idea of Millies Mission earlier this year in March.

“I chose to start Millie’s mission as I believe that it will spread awareness both of Newlife and of my fundraising page on Facebook @Nicola’s fundraising corner” said Nicola who has raised £2,516 for Newlife to date.

“It was something different and has proved to be a winner.”

Millie is a knitted woollen nurse. Nicola takes it wherever she goes and sponsors have pledged five pence for every mile the doll covers and every penny raised goes to the Newlife nurses helpline.

So far the teenager has raised £2,516 and her trips have included visits to local doctors, dentists and young fire-fighters in Durham and Scotland. You can add to Millie’s Missions Newlife fund – just click on

A team of volunteers have been knitting Millie Nurse dolls with sales going directly to Nicola’s Newlife fund for Newlife Nurses. The number of dolls sold has taken everyone by surprise and Nicola is looking for more volunteers to knit dolls.

To buy a Nurse of your own for £3 please call Keleigh on: 07973 473268.

Newlife is calling upon interested knitters to knit more Newlife Nurses for us in support of our Knitted Nurse campaign which will help us raise more funds for Nurse Services. If you would like to knit your own Newlife nurse, please contact Laura for the Newlife Knitted Nurse pattern on: 01543 462777.

Newlife is the largest charity provider of specialist equipment for children with disabilities or terminal illness in the UK and every penny donated or fundraised is guaranteed to support families.

Statutory services often have a responsibility to make equipment provision – but when help is declined, Newlife steps in. The charity challenges many such decisions and has an impressive success rate. However, where we are unable to overturn these decisions, we provide the equipment ourselves through our range of grant and loan services. We do this with the support of front-line health professionals across the UK who have helped Newlife help local children in real need.

Together we can really change the lives of children with disabilities or terminal illness – supporting them to experience and enjoy life and all that we take for granted.

Newlife supports equipment provision for under-19s facing any significant disability, whether acquired through birth defect, prematurity, accident or illness.

“It is an excellent idea and a great way to raise funds to help children with disabilities,” said Keleigh Tomlinson, Newlife’s Midlands Regional Fundraising & Awareness Manager.

“Her support is greatly appreciated and all the monies raised from Millie’s Mission will go towards funding real life nurses on the Newlife Nurse Helpline who provide vital information and support to families of children with disabilities or terminal illness.

Donations and fundraising provides essential equipment for children with disabilities that often cannot be supplied elsewhere. Fundraising might involve taking part in a local sporting challenge, give you information on how to organise a fundraising event – or even ask you to donate £5 today! Volunteers are also needed to help raise awareness of what we do and how we do it.

To find out more about fundraising, telephone Keleigh on 07973 473268.

Pictured (L to R): Nicola Clarke and Keleigh Tomlinson