When you are asked to pay five pence for a carrier bag in a store have you ever wondered what happens to the money? Well, in the case of River Island outlets – like the ones in Gloucester and Cheltenham – profits from sales of carrier bags are donated to Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children.
Newlife is the UK’s largest charity provider of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness.
River Island is doing something fantastic with the plastic profits – funding a range of specialist disability equipment. Gloucestershire six-year-old George is one of the children to benefit from this life-changing nationwide initiative. Provision of a specialist car seat and seating for the home are helping to reduce his pain and keep him safe.
George has Cerebral Palsy, Hip Dysplasia, ADHD and learning difficulties. When he is not posturally supported George experiences high levels of pain, for which he requires medication.
A specialist car seat now gives him all the support he needs during journeys – many of which, to regular hospital appointments in Sheffield and London, were long and tiring.
Mum Susannah said: “We spend a lot of time in the car going to and from different therapy and hospital sessions and George would be in severe pain by the end of each journey. Now, thanks to his special car seat, he says he feels like he is sitting in an armchair – those were his exact words. We don’t have to fight to get him into the car anymore and we have been able to reduce his pain relief medication as a direct result of the equipment. It has been a huge success.”
George has also been given a ‘saddle seat’ to use around the home. This equipment is designed to prevent the onset of further health issues and manage trunk control, sitting balance and limb function. Susannah added: “When he sits on the settee, because of his limited muscle control, he will sometimes fall off onto the floor and get hurt. Because of his ADHD George needs to be stimulated constantly, so the new seating will give him somewhere to sit in comfort and safety and get on with activities like his gaming. We are also hoping to be able to further reduce his pain relief medication.”
She added: “It is a huge success – he’s now zipping around the house having a whale of a time. And when he’s in pain he is able to be more independent, thanks to the seat, instead of getting me to do everything for him.
“We are incredibly grateful for the equipment – it’s made a huge difference.”