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North Yorkshire’s Lord Lieutenant Barry Dodd, CBE, is supporting a local initiative to fund more specialist equipment for disabled and terminally ill children in the county.

Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children helps dozens of families in North Yorkshire, and Mr Dodd – the Queen’s official representative in the county – is backing the charity’s drive to ensure more local babies, children and young people get the equipment support they need, when they really need it.

Mr Dodd said: “I’m delighted to support Newlife’s appeal to help disabled and terminally ill children in North Yorkshire. Newlife has already helped many children in our county and now, through this dedicated appeal, local people can directly help more local children get the vital equipment they need to ease their pain, keep them safe and to enjoy their lives to the full. I am sure that knowing every penny that is raised in North Yorkshire will be used to help children in our county will inspire local people to help”.

Right now, there are eight disabled and terminally ill children in North Yorkshire who need your help to get the specialist equipment that will really change their lives. That’s why Newlife Foundation – the UK’s leading children’s disability charity – is launching the Newlife North Yorkshire Fund – It is an opportunity for local people to help local disabled children and every penny donated or fundraised in North Yorkshire is guaranteed to support vulnerable families in the county.

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 take their first steps or kick a football with their friends. . . .

Together we can really change the lives of disabled children – supporting them to experience and enjoy life and all that we take for granted.

Newlife has already helped 182 children in North Yorkshire like Corey (see story below) through equipment grants and loans totalling more than £191,000, so we know there is a very real need for a specific county fund. In this way we aim to help more children, more quickly.

Statutory services in North 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 North Yorkshire who have helped Newlife help local children in real need.

The Newlife North Yorkshire Fund will support equipment provision for under-19s facing any significant disability, whether acquired through birth defect, prematurity, accident or illness.

Vitally, the Newlife North Yorkshire Fund website – – will enable local people to find out who needs help in their county right now and highlight the support the charity gives vulnerable families. It includes contact details for the Newlife County Liaison Team – tel no 01543 431 444 or email – and shows specific ways people can help support local disabled children 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.

We hope that by launching the Newlife North Yorkshire Fund, disabled and terminally ill children in the county won’t have to go without the equipment they need for everyday life.

Newlife Foundation supports families in North Yorkshire through a range of free services: Nurse-staffed helpline Equipment grants Emergency equipment loans Sensory and developmental toy ‘pod’ loans.


Without a specialist seat to keep seven-year-old Corey safe, the Gascoigne family from York hardly went out together in the car. Seven-year-old Corey has autistic spectrum disorder and hasn’t met many of his developmental milestones. As a result, he has no awareness of danger and would repeatedly undo his in-car safety harness, climb out of his seat and disrupt the driver and other passengers. Mum Elysia Gascoigne said: “We just didn’t go out in the car.” She added: “Corey doesn’t cope very well with his younger brother especially in his ‘space’ so we would have to stop to calm Corey down and restrain him back into the seat. In the end, it just wasn’t worth going out.” Newlife is the largest single provider of specialist car seats around the UK, having invested more than £1.6million in the safety of disabled and terminally ill children. This is because local authorities do not have a statutory obligation to supply this equipment; instead, families can apply for a medical exemption certificate which allows their children to be transported unsecured. However, Newlife believes that the safety of disabled children is as important as the in-vehicle security of able-bodied youngsters and is currently campaigning for a change in the law. In the meantime, the charity continues to support families through provision. Medical support staff at their local hospital advised the Gascoignes to apply to Newlife Foundation for help in funding a £723 specialist car seat. Elysia said: “The new car seat has extra side supports to keep Corey’s head upright. He has a tendency to move his head from side to side because of his sensory needs and we used to have a problem with him flopping totally over when we went round corners. That was an issue in itself. Importantly, he is now safely secured into the seat so we don’t have to worry about him getting out and upsetting his brother.”

Pictured: Corey Gascoigne