Take part in a sponsored abseil down the New Art Gallery in Walsall on Sunday 5 October and raise money to help local children and young people like British Paralympic hopeful Tully Kearney.
Tully, who lives in Aldridge, has a progressive neurological condition that causes progressive weakening of the muscles and painful contractions, as well as having joint hypermobility, which can result in dislocations. Despite her limited independent mobility, 17-year-old Tully is a champion swimmer with her sights set on the Paralympic Games in Rio in 2016. She won a bronze medal for Great Britain in the S10 400 metres freestyle event at the IPC Swimming World Championships in Montreal last year (2013).
Staffordshire-based national children’s disability charity Newlife Foundation is providing Tully with specialist powered wheels for her manual wheelchair, to reduce wear and tear on her arms and help her self-propel uphill.
Mum Amanda Kearney said: “As Tully has got older her disability has increased. At a time when all her friends are becoming more independent she has unfortunately seen her level of independence decrease. With these new wheels, Tully will be able to switch up the power to tackle slopes and hills herself – so when she is at school and out with her friends she won’t have to rely on asking someone else to push her, and will also be able to go out on her own if she wants.”
Tully trains with Boldmere Swimming Club and is a pupil at The Streetly Academy where she is studying for A-levels in Health and Social Care, Applied Science and PE. She was recently awarded a sixth form academic prize in the subject of Applied Science.
Tully said: “I’m just so grateful to the Newlife Foundation for providing me with these powered wheels and giving me my independence back. Hopefully, next year I will be moving away from home to combine attending university and training at the National Performance Centre for Para Swimming in Manchester and I would find it really hard to do this without these wheels – thank you so much Newlife!”
Tully’s wheels are costing £4,461; hers is one of 627 Equipment Grants totalling £920,768 that have been awarded to disabled and terminally ill babies, children and young people in the West Midlands since 2005. Across the UK, Newlife Equipment Grants expenditure stands at more than £11million.
Newlife CEO Sheila Brown, OBE, said: “With statutory services across the UK implementing continued budget cuts, we expect to see more and more families turn to Newlife Foundation for help. That’s why we’re appealing for ‘local heroes’ to come forward and fundraise to help a disabled or terminally ill child in their county. Every penny goes directly to funding vital equipment.”
If you think you have what it takes to make that leap of faith and abseil 90 feet down the New Art Gallery in Walsall to raise money for Newlife, call the charity’s Community Fundraising Team on freephone 0800 988 4640 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The event is being organised by activity provider Eight Point Two and the cost to register is £40.
To find out more about the range of equipment grant and loan support services offered by the charity, call the Newlife Nurse Helpline on freephone 0800 902 0095 or email email@example.com.
Pictured: Tully Kearney.
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