A teenage Portsmouth girl needs your help to do what most of us take for granted – sit comfortably with her family.
Lucy Gudgeon, has a condition that impacts on her physical and learning ability and also has epilepsy. Due to her reduced muscle strength Lucy cannot walk unaided and is at risk of further curvature to her spine.
The 14-year-old cannot sit on the sofa as she needs support, but has an excellent ‘P-Pod’ seat she can relax on in comfort. Unfortunately the ‘P-Pod’ cannot be moved from room to room and Lucy is unable to join the family in areas of the home and the only other place she can be comfortable is on her bed.
Lucy is now nine-stone in weight and cannot be moved to other rooms, but a wheeled base for the comfortable seating system will enable her to sit comfortably in different rooms with her family. The wheeled base will cost £580 and grants were not available within Hampshire for the purchase so the family turned to Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children for help.
“The P-Pod is a comfortable place for Lucy to sit, but we cannot move Lucy from room to room now she has grown,” said mum Kay.
“She wants to be with the family, but she is restricted. She can walk from the bedroom to the front room with the adaptions that have made, but she has to stay there or return to bed.
“It will be good for Lucy and the family that she can move around without fear of further damage to her spine.”
Kay is urging local people to help change the lives of local children in Hampshire.
Newlife has helped 338 families in Hampshire through equipment grants and loans totalling over £528,378, 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 – www.newlifecharity.co.uk/hampshire. 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 Lucy is one of nine children in Hampshire who need your help with equipment valued at £7,841. You can help Newlife help more children like Lucy.
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 would look to 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 – www.newlifecharity.co.uk/hampshire – 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 [email protected] – 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 Lucy would be used to provide specialist equipment for another disabled or terminally ill child in Hampshire.
Pictured: Lucy Gudgeon