Latest Newlife News


Alton teenager Charlie Stubbs urgently needs a versatile wheelchair so he can enjoy greater independence both in and outside the family home.

Charlie has Ataxia Telangiectasia (AT), a rare neurodegenerative condition which affects his motor skills and immune system and means he has a high risk of developing cancer.

Charlie attends Treloar School in Holybourne, where he uses a powered wheelchair. However, he is not able to take this into his home as it has a fixed wheelbase which cannot be removed. Because of his immune deficiency – for which he takes daily medication – he needs a wheelchair with two wheelbases, one for use indoors and another for outside so he is less likely to transfer germs and bacteria into the home.

The versatile new equipment – which would operate both as a manual and a powered wheelchair – would also allow him to move independently around the house and could be used as a back-up for school when his heavier powered wheelchair breaks down.

Mum Tina Stubbs said: “Charlie was mobile until he was eight years old and loved playing all sports; he’s sports mad. He still plays wheelchair football once a week but isn’t able to participate in any other sports so he feels the loss acutely. It is his body that is deteriorating, not his mind and Charlie is at an age where a multi-functional wheelchair is crucial in giving him some independence so he can function as a teenager.”

The versatile features of the wheelchair will include a specially moulded seat to properly support Charlie’s body as he has begun to develop curvature of the lower spine. The cost of the equipment – £7,688 – prompted the Stubbs family to contact Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children for help with funding.

Newlife Foundation recently provided Alton teenager Jess Brown with a lightweight manual wheelchair, with contributions from local fundraisers. In total, the charity has provided £387,122 of specialist equipment for 233 children in Hampshire.

However, demand on Newlife resources has shot up as families of disabled and terminally ill children are hit by cutbacks across statutory services. Therefore, the charity is appealing for ‘local heroes’ to come forward to fundraise or donate towards the cost of equipment for children in their county.

Newlife CEO Sheila Brown said: “Newlife guarantees that 100 per cent of any gift or donation will go directly to provide Charlie with the wheelchair he needs. Any money raised surplus to Charlie’s requirements will be used to fund equipment for other disabled and terminally ill children in Hampshire.”

Newlife is currently working with a total of eight families in Hampshire, with equipment needs totalling £28,129.

If you think you can help, 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.

To find out more about the range of Newlife services, which are all free of charge, call the Newlife Nurse Helpline – freephone 0800 902 0095 – or go to

Pictured: Charlie Stubbs.

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