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An appeal to help 11-year-old Haydn Weymes, from Crawcrook, get the specialist mobility equipment he needs is just £92 short of the total.

Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children – the UK’s largest charity funder of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness – issued the appeal so that Haydn, who has profound learning and physical disabilities, could join in more family fun.

Haydn has no independent mobility and wears a back brace to support his scoliosis. He is fed via a tube in his stomach and does not sleep well. Despite all this, he is a happy boy and his mum, dad and two sisters would like to be able to include him in more activities.

Haydn has a wheelchair provided by local statutory services, but this is difficult to push over anything except flat surfaces. This means, for instance, that he can’t join in local riverside and woodland walks with the family; either mum Alyson or dad Richard stays behind with Haydn while the other goes out with his sisters Jess and Olivia.

Alyson said: “Anywhere that involves grass or dirt paths is more or less out of bounds to Haydn in his wheelchair.”

What they need is a specialist buggy, designed for older children with mobility needs like Haydn. The all-terrain equipment will open up a wide range of new opportunities. The buggy comes with weather proofing, so he can be wrapped up warm and snug to go out whatever the time of year.

Alyson said: “It is really important – not only for Haydn but for his sisters too – that we do more things together as a complete family and not always be dividing into two groups, with Haydn missing out.”

The equipment – which offers postural support and safety features to meet Haydn’s complex needs – costs £1,990, but there is no funding available through local statutory services. So the family turned to Newlife Foundation for help.

Newlife has funded 114 equipment grants and loans for children in Tyne and Wear, totalling more than £152,000, including one for a specialist car seat for Haydn.

However, Haydn’s is just one of 21 families in Tyne and Wear currently working with Newlife Foundation to secure the essential specialist equipment their children need for everyday life. And with applications to Newlife up 25 per cent on last year (across the UK), the charity is increasingly looking to ‘local heroes’ to help fund vital equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness in their own counties.

Earlier this month (March), the charity launched its Newlife Tyne and Wear Fund, specifically to provide specialist equipment for local children with disabilities like Haydn. It guarantees that 100 per cent of all monies donated or fundraised in Tyne and Wear will be spent in the county.

Further information about the Newlife Tyne and Wear Fund – and how to specifically donate or fundraise to support Haydn – can be found by going to or by emailing Telephone donations can be made by calling 01543 462 777.

Pictured: Haydn Weymes.