Your help is needed to enable a young Sheffield boy to get out and about in safety.
Nine-year-old Preston Sims has a genetic condition which will get worse over time. He experiences acute paralysis, loss of reflexes, is unable to verbally communicate and prone to respiratory infections. Maintaining head control for long periods is not possible for Preston and he has undertaken spinal surgery.
Preston needs a specialist buggy so that he can travel around with the essential postural support and positioning his condition demands. A leading charity for children with disabilities is appealing to the people of South Yorkshire to raise £1,366 for the equipment needed so Preston can discover the great outdoors safely. “The new buggy will make a huge difference,” said mum Laura.
“We will be able to take Preston out and importantly the physio posture will be good as the chair has been made specifically for his needs.
“At the moment we have a big chair that we struggle to get in the car and we have difficulty getting Preston in it – he still thinks he’s a baby.”
Right now Preston is one of 18 children in South Yorkshire who need your help with equipment valued at £21,313. You can help Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children help more children like Preston.
Newlife has helped 296 families in South Yorkshire through equipment grants and loans totalling £277,568, 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 South Yorkshire Fund – www.newlifecharity.co.uk/southyorkshire. It is an opportunity for local people to help local disabled children and every penny donated or fundraised in South Yorkshire is guaranteed to support families in the county.
In this way we aim to help more children, more quickly.
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 South Yorkshire 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 South Yorkshire who have helped Newlife help local children in real need.
The Newlife South Yorkshire Fund will support equipment provision for under-19s facing any significant disability, whether acquired through birth defect, prematurity, accident or illness.
Vitally, the South Yorkshire Fund website – www.newlifecharity.co.uk/southyorkshire – 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 South Yorkshire 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 South Yorkshire 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 Preston would be used to provide specialist equipment for another disabled or terminally ill child in South Yorkshire.
Pictured: Preston Sims