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A leading children’s disability charity is looking for a local hero who can help four-year-old Ruby Joslin-Smith sleep in safety. After mum Rachael Todd from Bromley Common found her young daughter hanging by her neck and gasping for air, it was Newlife Foundation, the UK’s largest charity funder of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness, which stepped in to help by loaning the family a specialist bed. Ruby has a neuro-developmental delay and epilepsy; she is able to crawl and roll and can pull herself into a standing position but can’t walk. When Ruby outgrew her regular cot, Rachael instead put her to bed in a travel cot because she thought there was less chance of her falling out and hurting herself. One night, Rachael woke up to hear Ruby gasping for breath – and found her hanging from the top of the travel cot. Rachael said: “She had pulled herself up and put her neck over the side then, presumably, lost her footing. She was just hanging there.” Rachael said: “Ruby doesn’t sleep much – she regularly wakes between 3am and 4am. Having this specialist bed gives me peace of mind, knowing that if I fall asleep she will be safe.” The equipment was provided through Newlife’s Emergency Bed Loan service – but the loan period is nearing an end and a media appeal for help to provide Ruby with her own permanent bed has received just £300 of the £5,928 needed. So Newlife is hoping a local benefactor will step forward to help.

If you would like to support Ruby, you can contact the Newlife County Liaison Team on 01543 431 444 or email

To find out more about Newlife Foundation’s work in the county, go to

Pictured: Ruby Joslin-Smith