A group of fabulous fundraisers in Plymouth have welcomed in 2017 by announcing they will be raising money throughout the year to help disabled and terminally ill children in Devon and Cornwall.
Staff in the Child Maintenance Group at the Department for Work and Pensions centre in Plymouth have nominated Newlife, the Charity for Disabled Children, as their charity of the year. Newlife has supported 411 children in Devon and Cornwall (Devon 310, Cornwall 101) including Sam and Beth Horton, whose relatives Sharon and Jess Wellington work at the centre.
Mother and daughter Sharon and Jess said: “Newlife has helped our family and does amazing things. Now we would like to give something back to them.”
The Department for Work and Pensions’ building in Plymouth employs around 850 people. Jess – who is part of the People Development Team – said: “Everyone pulls together as one big community when it comes to charity events. We have run everything from sponsored bike rides, swims and triathlons to bake sales, fancy dress days and craft fairs. We like to be as inventive as possible and really get into the spirit of things.
“The fundraising activities during 2017 for Newlife are in memory of my grandad who passed away last year. He was particularly close to Sam and we wanted to honour him in a way that would make him proud.”
Sam, aged eight, and his seven-year-old sister Beth live in Eggbuckland. They have Cerebral Palsy and Newlife helped the family by providing a specialist car seat to keep Sam posturally supported during journeys and a seat for Beth, who has a significant right-sided weakness, so she can be comfortable and sit upright at mealtimes.
Newlife supports families through a range of services: Equipment Grants offer permanent provision of items like wheelchairs and walking frames for mobility and specialist beds and car seats for safety; Emergency Equipment Loans, often within 72 hours, provide a fast response for families of life-limited and terminally ill children and those sleeping in unsafe environments; Play Therapy Pods provide loans of sensory toys for children with complex needs; Comfort Capsules help families of terminally ill children make memories together.
Pictured: Sam and Beth Horton with their grandad Barry Wellington; the fundraising initiative is in his memory.