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FAMILY FUN DAY AS PARENTS SAY ‘THANK YOU’ TO CHILDREN’S DISABILITY CHARITY

A Barnsley family are organising a fun day at Sheffield’s Hillsborough Arena next month (February) to raise money for the charity which gave them a specialist buggy so they can get their two disabled children out and about in comfort and safety.

The family fun day will feature a charity football match and a range of child-friendly activities like a bouncy castle, penalty shoot-out and face painting. There will also be a raffle and jewellery sale.

The couple behind the event – from 12noon to 4pm on Saturday 21 February – are Victoria Miller and Darren Roe from Wombwell in Barnsley.

They got help from leading UK children’s disability charity Newlife Foundation when they needed a specialist buggy for 22-month-old Emmie and ten-month-old Riley. Both children have complex medical needs including the brain condition hydrocephalus.

Emmie can walk but struggles with her balance and can only manage short distances. Her brother has inconsistent head control. Both children have additional needs and require extra help with feeding; Riley, who has chronic lung disease, is currently being weaned off oxygen.

The family approached leading Newlife Foundation when they realised they would need a specialist double buggy. They were previously using a standard model but there was no room for Riley’s oxygen cylinder and feeding pump so Victoria and Darren had to carry these on their backs.

With a donation from the family, Newlife met the outstanding cost of the £1,074 buggy which not only accommodates all the medical equipment but keeps Emmie and Riley appropriately positioned to meet their complex needs and help prevent further health issues.

Victoria said: “The buggy is great. Both of them look really comfortable in it and it is a huge help that it has space for the medical equipment. Although Emmie and Riley sit side by side, the buggy is easy to use and is designed to fit through standard doorways.

“Now we want to give something back to Newlife, so we are holding the family fun day as a way of raising vital funds to help other disabled children in South Yorkshire. There will be lots of activities, including a football match; Darren is a keen footballer and runs a local Sunday league team called The Angel FC.”

Newlife CEO Sheila Brown, OBE, said: “Demand on our practical support services is growing. We awarded 33 per cent more Equipment Grants around the UK in 2013/14 than the previous year – this totalled £2,088,105; as a result, we are increasingly calling on ‘local heroes’ to help fund vital specialist equipment for children in their own areas.

“Fundraising events like this one are key to Newlife being able to continue to support families of disabled and terminally ill children. Right now in South Yorkshire, Newlife is working with a further four families with equipment needs totalling £2,421.”

The Newlife Community Fundraising team can be contacted on 0800 988 4640 (free from UK landlines) or by emailing [email protected]

Pictured: Emmie Miller and her brother Riley Roe

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