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FASHION STORE FUNDRAISING HELPS KEEP SOPHIE SAFE

Fabulous fundraisers at the River Island fashion store in Norwich’s Chapelfield Shopping Centre have helped a local girl get the equipment she needs to keep her comfortable and safe at home.

Special-needs seating is now making a world of difference to home life for eight-year-old Sophie Frosdick from Great Yarmouth.

Sophie has Cerebral Palsy as well as a diagnosis of autism and learning disabilities. When she gets home from school, like any child she likes to sit in a comfortable chair and relax – but she needs specialist postural support and could easily fall off the family sofa.

Now, thanks to River Island fundraisers, Sophie has a new PPod chair for increased comfort and safety. The seating has been designed and developed as a simple yet effective postural support for use by disabled children and adults. It reduces the risk of spinal deformity and has a harness to ensure Sophie can’t fall out.

Mum Sonya Frosdick said: “The new PPod means she is back at the heart of family life. When she was unwell last week she was able to sit in her chair, comfortable and secure, rather than be in bed all the time.”

She added: “Sophie is happier than ever, sitting in her new PPod.”

Sophie’s occupational therapist recommended the seating to help her posture because her reduced muscle control means she can’t keep herself upright.

With no local statutory funding available for the seating, which cost £828, Sophie’s family turned to Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children for help. Newlife is the UK’s largest charity provider of essential equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness – and has funded £191,601 of support for 163 families in Norfolk (including a previous, smaller PPod for Sophie which she had outgrown).

River Island’s Chapelfield deputy store manager Anna Holland said: “The staff really got behind the fundraising activities for Newlife – it shows the camaraderie and work ethic at the store. We got customers involved with a ‘Guess the name of the monkey’ competition, staff paid to dress up in-store and we also held a cake sale for staff. It was really lovely and it has been a real pleasure raising the funds for Newlife, a charity which River Island has been associated with for many years. And it’s a real boost to the staff to know how their efforts are directly benefitting a child in Norfolk.”

Newlife provided the seating through its Equipment Grants service. The charity also works with families to offer Emergency Equipment Loans, often within 72 hours of an application being made, a Play Therapy Pod service for those with complex needs and Comfort Capsules so families of terminally ill children can make memories together.

If you would like to find out more about how the charity helps local families, go to: www.newlifecharity.co.uk/norfolk. Newlife guarantees that 100 per cent of monies donated or fundraised in Norfolk will be used to specifically help local children with disabilities and terminal illness.

Pictured: Sophie Frosdick.

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