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A simple piece of specialist equipment would enable 14-year-old Isaac Smith to visit his grandparents for the first time in a couple of years and make full use of an all-terrain wheelchair that he hasn’t been able to go out in since Easter.

Isaac, from Whitley Bay in Tyne and Wear, has Cerebral Palsy which means he has no control over his muscles. He uses a wheelchair at home and for school, and has a ceiling track hoist installed on the first floor to help him safely in and out of it.

However, Isaac needs a portable hoist that can go with him when visiting friends and family – particularly his grandparents who live in Lincolnshire – so he can get in and out of his wheelchair with reduced risk.

Mum Johanna Smith said: “Dominic’s parents have a downstairs bedroom and bathroom which would be ideal for Isaac, but without a mobile hoist we are still unable to go. It’s been two or three years since our last visit.”

Isaac also has an all-terrain wheelchair for use on the beaches near their home. But this equipment can’t be taken up to the first floor for Isaac to use the fitted ceiling track hoist to get in it. Johanna added: “A portable hoist to use downstairs means Isaac will be able to join the rest of the family on the beach. It’s all about enabling him to play a full part in family life.”

Instead, he can currently only watch while his sister plays on the sand and helps walk the family dogs.

“The last time Isaac was able to use his all-terrain chair was Easter, because his dad Dominic and I are afraid to try and get him into it. Isaac has no sitting balance and can’t weight bear – he has a lot of sudden and involuntary movements and is really strong so it’s very difficult to keep hold of him safely. I can’t lift him by myself anymore.”

With this specialist equipment costing £2,420, the Smith family turned to Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children for help.

Now Newlife – the UK’s largest charity provider of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness – is looking for ‘local heroes’ who can help us make this happen.

We need donors and fundraisers who want to really make a difference, helping us transform Isaac’s everyday life and allow him the simple pleasure of visiting his grandparents. To find out how you can support Isaac, go to and click on the Donate Now button next to his story. Alternatively, contact the Newlife County Liaison Team on 01543 431 444 or email

Newlife guarantees that 100 per cent of monies donated or fundraised in Tyne and Wear will be used to specifically help children with disabilities and terminal illness in the area. Any money raised surplus to requirements for Isaac will be used to help other local children. Newlife has supported 167 children in Tyne and Wear, providing specialist equipment totalling £191,471.

Pictured: Isaac Smith