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Seven-year-old Courtney Ward from North Manchester struggles to hear speech above any other noises in the background and her condition makes it difficult to listen to her teacher in the classroom.

A leading charity for children with disabilities is appealing to the people of Greater Manchester to raise £795 for special equipment so Courtney, who has proved to be an excellent scholar, can get the most out her school life.

Courtney has been learning to lip read, but really needs specialist equipment. A six-week trial with an FM system with a microphone for the teacher and an earpiece for Courtney, started in the classroom recently and made a significant difference. The improvement in her auditory discrimination, sound localisation, memory and information retention was significant. Also the teachers and parents were pleased to see a significant improvement in her confidence.

Equipment for Audio Processing Disorder is not provided by statutory funding so Courtney’s family turned to Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children for help.

“We are really pleased with Courtney’s confidence during the trial,” explained dad Patrick. “She was frightened of failure at school.

“The FM system made a big difference and it would be a shame to see her schoolwork suffer because of this disorder as she works hard and academically she is very good.”

Patrick is urging local people to help change the lives of local children in the area.

Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children has helped 285 families in Greater Manchester through equipment grants and loans totalling over £232,000, 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 Greater Manchester Fund – It is an opportunity for local people to help local disabled children and every penny donated or fundraised in Greater Manchester is guaranteed to support families in the county.

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

Right now Courtney is one of 28 children in Greater Manchester who need your help with equipment valued at £22,437. You can help Newlife help more children like Courtney.

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 Greater Manchester 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 Greater Manchester who have helped Newlife help local children in real need.

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

Vitally, the Greater Manchester 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 Greater Manchester 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 Greater Manchester 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 Courtney would be used to provide specialist equipment for another disabled or terminally ill child in Greater Manchester.

Pictured: Courtney Ward