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Night-time bloody noses and cut lips should be a thing of the past for three-year-old Archie Farmer from Earl Shilton near Hinkley when he gets his new specialist bed, thanks to the fabulous fundraising activities of Central England Co-operative colleagues in Leicestershire.

Archie, who has a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder, is a very active little boy but has no awareness of danger. Mum Donna Farmer said: “Archie doesn’t like a standard bed because it doesn’t make him feel secure enough. So he currently sleeps in a wooden cot-bed but he has given himself bloody noses, cut lips, damaged his front teeth and split his head open. He wakes up every night and if I don’t get to him in time he just isn’t safe. I have tried cot bumpers in the past, but he has removed them and put them round his neck.”

Donna added: “The specialist bed most suitable for Archie will have high sides so he feels secure and be completely padded to help put an end to his night-time injuries.”

The cost of the bed – £1,940 – prompted Donna to apply to Staffordshire-based national children’s disability charity Newlife Foundation for help. Newlife has funded 233 Equipment Grants for children in Leicestershire, totalling £249,884.

Thanks to the current charity partnership between Newlife and the recently merged and renamed Central England Co-operative (formerly Midlands Co-operative Society), Newlife was able to respond straight away and order the equipment.

Since the partnership was launched in May 2012, Central England Co-operative colleagues and customers have raised 397,707, which to date has helped fund 166 items of specialist disability equipment for children in the retailer’s trading area. This includes wheelchairs and walkers for mobility, specialist car seats so children can travel in safety and communication aids so they can tell their parents when they are hungry or in pain.

Karen McNeill, manager of the Central England Co-operative supermarket in Burbage, said: “As a regional retailer we always ensure that our staff-elected charity supports people in need in our trading area. We are delighted to have been able to help Archie and his family in this way.”

Pictured: Archie Farmer.

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