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A Derby nine-year-old with an auto immune condition which has resulted in Cerebral Palsy and developmental delay is now able to strengthen the muscles in her legs and practice her steps – thanks to fabulous fundraisers at Central England Co-operative who have helped provide a specialist walker through their support of Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children.

Halima Jabbar lives in the Rose Hill area of the city with mum Tahira Mushtaq, dad Jabbar Ahmed, sister Farina, 22, and Ibrahim, seven, who has the same condition as Halima. She needs a wheelchair to get around and although she did have a walker supplied by her local statutory services, she wasn’t able to use it properly, which hasn’t helped her development.

Mum said: “Halima is a confident, bright and happy child with a good friendship circle – but physically, day to day life is a struggle. She can’t stand up for long as the Cerebral Palsy makes her muscles so stiff, so she needs to use a walker at home and school to strengthen her muscles. In her old walker she would sit in the seat and drag her feet along the ground. She wasn’t using it properly, it became just like a toy.”

Halima’s Occupational Therapist suggested that Tahira apply to Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children for help – and the equipment that best suits her needs was swiftly delivered. Newlife is the UK’s largest charity provider of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness.

Tahira said: “Halima is having to walk in this one properly and she is doing really well now as it is making her use her legs. This walker will last a good few years and will make her muscles stronger.”

Jackie Ravenhill, Manager at Central England Co-operative’s convenience store in Osmaston Road, Alvaston, said: “Central England Co-operative takes fundraising to help local communities very seriously, and we are committed to making a positive impact in the local areas in which we trade. Working with Newlife has provided a great opportunity for us to help make life easier for youngsters like Halima.”

Newlife provides equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness through a range of services. Equipment Grants fund permanent provision; Emergency Equipment Loans support children with unstable, life-threatening or life-limiting illness and those who face injury due to the absence of appropriate equipment; Play Therapy Pods offer loans of sensory toys which aid development; Comfort Capsules help families of terminally ill children make memories. All services are accessed through the Newlife Nurse Helpline – 0800 902 0095 (free from UK mobiles and landlines).

Newlife has helped 399 children in Derbyshire, with equipment totalling £345,508. However, right now there are a further 21 children waiting for help. To find out how you could help a child in the county, go to: Alternatively, call the Newlife County Liaison Team – tel no 01543 431 444 – or email

Pictured: Halima Jabbar