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Nine-year-old Hannah Hadley is looking forward to more family days out in the Staffordshire countryside, thanks to the fundraising efforts of Midlands Co-operative Society colleagues in support of Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children.

Hannah, who has a diagnosis of Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy and Hypoxic Ischaemic Encephalopathy, lives with her family in Burton on Trent. She has no independent mobility and relies on a wheelchair for school.

With two active younger brothers aged eight and six the family likes to get out into the countryside, particularly at weekends, but Hannah’s wheelchair is not suitable for this so she has been using a specialist buggy which she has had since she was three years old. Not surprisingly, Hannah has outgrown the buggy; crucially, it is no longer offering adequate postural support.

Mum Rebecca Hadley was shocked by the cost of a replacement for Hannah – £2,825 – and contacted Staffordshire-based national children’s disability charity Newlife Foundation for help.

Newlife was able to respond quickly, thanks to its charity partnership with Midlands Co-operative Society. Newlife is the Midlands Co-operative’s staff-elected charity and since the partnership was launched in May 2012 colleagues have raised more than £226,000 to help children in their trading area. To date, more than 100 children have benefitted from the partnership, including 15 in Staffordshire. Equipment ranges from specialist car seats and adjustable beds to wheelchairs and buggies like the one Hannah will soon be receiving.

Rebecca Hadley said: “Disability equipment across the board is hugely expensive. Few families can afford to buy everything their disabled child needs and the perception that equipment is automatically supplied on request by statutory services is far from reality. Hannah has needed and will continue to need an ever changing range of equipment and we just can’t afford to fund everything ourselves, much as we would like to. That’s why we approached Newlife Foundation.

“The new buggy will play an important role in our life as a family, enabling Hannah to join in so much more – and in increased comfort. It is hard to explain the difference it will make to Hannah; for example, when we are out in the countryside if we want to call in to a café she will be able to sit up at a table in the buggy, because it of its supportive seating feature. At the moment this isn’t possible and Hannah has to be taken out of her old buggy and sat on my lap to eat – which just isn’t dignified for a nine-year-old who is perfectly well aware of what is happening to her, and what’s going on around her. The buggy will enable Hannah to sit with the family in a more appropriate and comfortable way.

“Midlands Co-operative’s support of Newlife Foundation is making a big impact on young lives across the region and we are certainly grateful for their contribution to our family.”

Carol Bennett, manager of the Midlands Co-operative convenience store in Rolleston, said: “As a regional retailer we always ensure that our staff-elected charity supports people in need in our trading area. We are delighted to have been able to help Hannah and her family in this way.”

For full details of the charity’s range of practical support for disabled and terminally ill children and their families, call the Newlife Nurse Helpline – freephone 0800 902 0095 – or go to:

Pictured: Hannah Hadley.

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