Little Henry Cummins loves the great outdoors. Mum Caroline says he is at his happiest when he is on the move. However, Henry has Cerebral Palsy and Hydrocephalus which means he is not able to get around independently.
Henry, almost three years of age and from Oxted, has a standard wheelchair supplied by his local statutory services but this is not manoeuvrable over anything other than flat surfaces. So the beautiful Surrey countryside and south coast beaches are out of bounds to Henry.
Caroline Cummins said: “It’s a shame because Henry has sensory processing difficulties and loves to be mobile; getting out and about is always good for him.
“Unfortunately, the seating we have at the moment will move over short, even grass – but not very well, which makes it hard work for the person who is pushing him. We are an outdoor-loving family, and a specialist all-terrain buggy would make life so much easier and give us the opportunity to get Henry out into the countryside and on to the beach more often.”
All-terrain equipment would also mean he could access his own back garden more easily. Caroline said: “Our garden has several steps, which are difficult to negotiate with the wheelchair. A specialist buggy would mean more time spent in the garden when the weather is good.”
This equipment will cost £1,795, which prompted the family to turn to leading UK children’s disability charity Newlife Foundation for help. Newlife has funded 164 Equipment Grants for children in Surrey, at a cost of £273,786.
However, statutory cutbacks across the country have led to a surge in applications to Newlife Foundation for vital equipment to facilitate everyday life. The charity is currently working with six families in Surrey, with equipment needs totalling £12,290. This surge in demand for services has prompted the charity to call for ‘local heroes’ to come forward to fundraise or donate towards the cost of specialist help for children in their county.
For instance, Newlife supporters can choose to take on a sponsored sporting challenge, host a coffee morning or cake sale, make and sell handcrafted goods, organise a pub quiz or community car wash, hold a sponsored silence or stage an evening of entertainment.
If you would like to help raise money to fund a specialist buggy for Henry, the Newlife Community Fundraising Team can be contacted on freephone 0800 988 4640. Any individual or organisation thinking of running a fundraising event is asked to contact the team, who can offer support and guidance. Alternatively, go to: www.justgiving.com/HenryCummins and donate.
Any money raised surplus to Henry’s requirements will be used to fund equipment for other children in Surrey.
Newlife CEO Sheila Brown, OBE, said: “Newlife guarantees that 100 per cent of any gift or donation will go directly to provide equipment for disabled and terminally ill children – and donors can ring-fence their money to a specific county.”
Pictured: Henry Cummins.