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In order for nine-year-old Jacob Day from Essex to spend time away from the family home he needs a special travel bed to keep him safe at night. This means he has been unable to do things like spend time with his grandparents. Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children is appealing to local heroes in Essex to help give Jacob the specialist bed he needs to keep him safe.

Jacob is a very active boy who has Autism, global developmental delay, ADHD and learning difficulties. He takes sleep medication but without it he can be up until 1am – sometimes later. Jacob has a special bed installed in his bedroom at home however this is not portable so the family have had to put any thoughts of respite care or trips away on hold.

Mum Donna Day said: “If we’re lucky we will get six hours sleep, it’s become normal to us! His dad sleeps on the sofa and I sleep upstairs, when Jacob is asleep we use a bed alarm to alert us if he has moved so we can be woken to make sure he is supervised during the night. We recently went on a caravan break and had to leave after one night because I was up all night watching him. Without a special travel bed it’s just not safe.”

The equipment Jacob needs is called a SafeSpace Voyager and costs £2,500; this will create a safe environment for him to get some much needed rest. With no statutory funding available his family turned to Newlife the largest charity funder of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness in the UK.

The SafeSpace Voyager is like a room within a room. It has a calming affect creating a safe environment for him to sleep in. His parent’s minds would be at ease when away from home as Jacob would be unable to run off, allowing them to rest too.

Donna added: “The bed would enable us to do so many things. We could stay on a caravan trip for more than one night. We would be able to take Jacob and his older sister Hannah who also has Autism, away from the house for more than a day. This bed is essential for Jacob’s health but it would also benefit the quality of life for us as a family because we could go away together knowing he is safe.”

Right now, Jacob is just one of 27 children in the county who need equipment totalling £19,252. That’s why Newlife has a dedicated Essex Fund – which gives local people the opportunity to help local disabled children. Every penny donated or fundraised in the county is guaranteed to support families in the area.

To specifically support Jacob, go the website and click on the Donate button beside his story. Any money raised surplus to requirements for Jacob will be used to help other local children.

The website includes contact details for the Newlife County Liaison Team – 01543 431 44401543 431 444 or email – and shows specific ways people can help support children with disability and terminal illness and their families in the county.

Pictured: Jacob Day