Latest Newlife News


Thirteen-year-old Eleri Feenan from Cwmbran in Torfaen isn’t able to do things that many teenage girls take for granted. Eleri has a condition that has resulted in her relying on her parents and carers for all her daily needs. Simple tasks like brushing her hair and teeth or participating in class are not possible for Eleri because she is unable to raise her arms.

A special piece of equipment called a Neater Arm Support would make a world of difference for Eleri. That’s why Newlife charity is appealing to local heroes in Torfaen to help make this happen.

Eleri has Spinal Muscular Atrophy (type 2). This affects her whole body and has resulted in her being a fulltime powered wheelchair user. Her immune system is compromised because of her health, which means she is heavily reliant on ventilation machines.

Eleri’s dad Michael Feenan said: “Eleri will be 14 soon and as she gets older it’s important that she can have as much independence as possible. Having a Neater Arm Support would help her gain independence and do things on her own. We all crave being included and for most of us we are able to do this. But for Eleri it’s not that simple.”

With the family’s local statutory services unable to fund the equipment costing £3,210 they turned to Newlife – the largest charity funder of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness in the UK. Eleri’s family have already put £500 towards the equipment, leaving an outstanding amount of £2,710 to fund.

A Neater Arm Support has a button that can be pressed to lift the user’s arms, helping them carry out everyday tasks. This will enable Eleri to do more at school with her classmates and within her community. She will be able to write, type and brush her hair as her arms will always be supported, no longer relying on others. As well as helping her gain independence the Neater Arm Support will help maintain strength and prevent further development of postural deformities.

Michael added: “A simple piece of equipment would open up a whole new world for Eleri. She will still rely on us for most things but having the equipment will help her be on an even keel with her peers, friends and family.”

We need donors and fundraisers who want to really make a difference, helping us transform Eleri’s everyday life. To find out how you can support Eleri go to and click on the Donate button next to her story. Alternatively, contact the Newlife County Liaison Team on 01543 431 444, email

Newlife guarantees that 100 per cent of monies donated or fundraised in Torfaen will be used to specifically help children with disabilities and terminal illness in the county. Any money raised surplus to requirements for Eleri will be used to help other children in the county.

Pictured: Eleri Feenan