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A teenager from Farnborough needs a manual wheelchair so he can attend important medical appointments and find the independence he needs at home.

A leading charity for under-19s with disabilities is appealing to the people of Hampshire to raise money for Connor’s wheelchair enabling the teenager to be mobile and comfortable.

Connor Couzens, 17, has a life limiting muscle-wasting condition. He has been wheelchair dependent since the age of seven, his upper body strength has deteriorated significantly and Connor is prone to chest infections. He wears a spinal brace and surgery has been ruled out due to his condition.

The manual wheelchair he requires will be used at home during weekends and school holidays as well as attending important medical appointments and continuing to access the community. It will have supportive seating to ensure his critical postural needs are met.

A new wheelchair will cost £4,427 and the Couzens family turned to Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children to help. Half of the funds have now been pledged and Newlife is appealing for further donations – looking to provide Connor’s new wheelchair as quickly as possible.

“The new chair will make a huge difference,” said mum Louisa. “He will be able to access other people’s properties.

“In the winter he really had a struggle and spent most of his time indoors. He will now be able to go on school trips, he missed quite a few.”

Louisa is urging local people to help change the lives of local children in Hampshire.

Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children has helped 339 families in Hampshire through equipment grants and loans totalling £528,987, so we know there is a very real county need.

That’s why Newlife – the largest charity funder of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness in the UK – recently launched the Newlife Hampshire Fund – It is an opportunity for local people to help local disabled children and every penny donated or fundraised in Hampshire is guaranteed to support families in the county.

In this way we aim to help more children, more quickly.

Right now Connor is one of 10 children in Hampshire who need your help with equipment valued at £17,613. You can help Newlife help more children like Connor.

Special disability equipment including wheelchairs, walkers, beds, seating and communication aids can help give children independence, keep them safe, relieve pain and overcome challenges. For instance, you could help a child be discharged from hospital, take their first steps or kick a football with their friends. . . .

Together we can really change the lives of children with disability and terminal illness – supporting them to experience and enjoy life and all that we take for granted.

Statutory services in Hampshire often have a responsibility to make equipment provision – but when help is declined, Newlife steps in. The charity challenges many such decisions and has an impressive success rate. However, where we are unable to overturn these decisions, we provide the equipment ourselves through our range of grant and loan services. We do this with the support of front-line health professionals across Hampshire who have helped Newlife help local children in real need.

The Newlife Hampshire Fund will support equipment provision for under-19s facing any significant disability, whether acquired through birth defect, prematurity, accident or illness.

Vitally, the Hampshire Fund website – – will enable local people to find out who needs help in the county right now and highlight the support the charity gives vulnerable families. It includes contact details for the Newlife County Liaison Team – telephone number 01543 431 444 or email – and shows specific ways people can help support children with disability and terminal illness and their families.

That might involve taking part in a local sporting challenge, give you information on how to organise a fundraising event – or even ask you to donate £5 today! Volunteers are also needed to help raise awareness of what we do and how we do it.

Newlife Foundation supports families in Hampshire through a range of free services: Nurse-staffed helpline Equipment grants Emergency equipment loans Sensory and developmental toy ‘pod’ loans.

The aim of the Newlife Hampshire Fund, is to ensure children with disabilities or terminal illness in the county will not have to go without the equipment they need for everyday life.

Any monies collected surplus to requirements for Connor would be used to provide specialist equipment for another disabled or terminally ill child in Hampshire.

Pictured: Connor Couzens