Leading children’s disability charity Newlife Foundation is providing five-year-old Faith Solomon, from the West Midlands, with a specialist buggy so she can enjoy more family activities.
Faith, who has profound developmental delay and epilepsy, relies on a wheelchair to get around, but her family finds this difficult to manoeuvre so outings are currently restricted.
Mum Donna Solomon said: “The wheelchair is very small and doesn’t negotiate kerbs and steps well because it has stoppers on it to prevent it falling backwards. And a bar across the back means that whoever is pushing the chair regularly catches their knees on it. This has meant that whenever Faith’s grandmother – who is in her early 60s – is looking after her, they have to stay in the house.”
Lack of manoeuvrability means Faith also misses out on watching her older brother play football and shopping trips. Donna said: “The wheelchair doesn’t travel well on grass and the lack of dropped kerbs makes pavements a problem too. This prevents Faith from going to so many places and experiencing the world around her.”
The family trialled a specialist buggy and, said Donna: “We were amazed at how much easier everything was. The buggy we have identified would give Faith the postural support she needs to prevent further health problems and would allow us to enjoy more family trips out – even a seaside holiday.”
The cost of the equipment – £1,190 – prompted Faith’s family to turn to Newlife for help with funding. Newlife has provided equipment grants totalling £557,868 for 416 children in the West Midlands. But the charity is experiencing hugely increased demands on its resources; calls to the Newlife Nurse helpline – 0800 902 0095 – have shot up by 70 per cent, with thousands more hits on the charity’s website www.newlifecharity.co.uk
Newlife CEO Sheila Brown, OBE, said: “Because of the huge demand, we are calling on ‘local heroes’ to help us raise money to fund equipment. Newlife guarantees that 100 per cent of any gift or donation will go directly to help disabled children in the West Midlands.”
If you think you can help, the Newlife Community Fundraising Team can be contacted on freephone 0800 988 4640. Any individual or organisation thinking of running a fundraising event is asked to contact the team, who can offer support and guidance.
Pictured: Faith Solomon