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Eight-year-old Ross can now enjoy the outdoors thanks to local people in Northampton and the Chronicle.

Back in April the Chronicle began a campaign in partnership with Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children to buy a specialist mobility buggy for Ross Platt, from Collingtree.

Little explorer Ross loves the outdoors but has an undiagnosed condition with complex needs and is unable to walk or stand independently.

For years mum Keri and dad Dean longed to take their son out to explore the countryside around their home.

However, Ross’ old buggy was too heavy and could only cope with flat, even surfaces making it impossible for the family to enjoy many outdoor activities.

To have the freedom to explore the outdoors and to go on trips to the Welsh Mountains and Lake District, the family needed a three wheeler Advanced Mobility Buggy but local statutory services refused to fund the £640 piece of equipment.

However, after Ross’ story was featured in the Chronicle, local people across Northamptonshire came together to pay for the specialist piece of equipment.

Keri said: “I just want to say a massive thank you to Newlife and the Chronicle for helping to fund the three wheeler buggy.

“It has made a huge difference and we have already been out to explore the fields surrounding our home.

“In the past we haven’t been able to walk through these areas so it was absolutely lovely to get out there. Best of all Ross really enjoyed it, he was very comfortable.

“This buggy means we can now access the outdoors a lot more as we are able to go on terrain that we couldn’t go on before – the additional freedom that it has given us and Ross means so, so much.”

Mrs Platt said the family are now hoping to spend some quality time away together by going to the beach and maybe up Mount Snowden in Wales.

She said: “We are an outdoorsy family and this buggy will allow us to do the things we love together.

“The buggy is amazingly light to push and very good with uneven terrain – it opens up a world we could not access before.

“I know a family who have used one on the beach and another who have used it to get their daughter with Cerebral Palsy up Mount Snowden.

“We would love to do the same with Ross. It would really improve his quality of life being able to get out and explore and it would be lovely to spend quality time like that together as a family.”

In addition to Ross, Newlife has funded 95 equipment grants for disabled and terminally ill children in Northamptonshire, totalling £155,892.

However, the demand for Newlife services has shot up in recent months and the charity is appealing for ‘local heroes’ to come forward to fundraise or donate towards the cost of equipment for children in the county.

Newlife, which aims to really change the lives of disabled and terminally ill children, is currently working with three other families in Northamptonshire, with equipment needs totalling £8,798.

Newlife CEO Sheila Brown, OBE, said: “Newlife guarantees that 100 per cent of any gift or donation will go directly to provide equipment for disabled and terminally ill children – and donors can ring-fence their money so it stays in Northamptonshire a specific county.” Pictured: Eight-year-old Ross.

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