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‘LOCAL HEROES’ NEEDED TO HELP KEEP JAKE SAFE AT NIGHT

A specialist bed on loan from a disability charity is helping Grantham teenager Jake Baillie sleep at night – and cope with the frustrations of daily life. But now Jake needs a bed of his own – and ‘local heroes’ are being called on for their support.

Jake, aged 13, has Autism Spectrum Disorder which results in challenging behaviours. He doesn’t sleep well and has a tendency to roam around, so one of his parents has to be with him throughout the night.

Local statutory services have assessed Jake’s needs and recommended padding his bedroom and installing special lighting to help keep him safe; his family are now waiting for funding to become available.

Dad Clive Baillie said: “In the meantime we needed something to keep Jake safe – and that’s where the specialist bed has come in.”

On the advice of Jake’s occupational therapist, the family contacted Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children. Newlife is the UK’s leading charity provider of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness.

Within a few days of the call, Newlife delivered a portable sleeping environment to help keep Jake safe and secure.

Clive said: “This piece of equipment is just great. Jake has never slept through the night but now we know that when he wakes up he will be safe. The number of ‘meltdowns’ has reduced too – there have only been a couple since getting the equipment. Jake thrashed around for a while – but couldn’t hurt himself because of the soft structure of the bed – and then fell asleep. Now, when things get too much for him, Jake will take himself off into his ‘safe space’.”

Newlife provided the safe sleeping environment through its Emergency Safety Loan service. Equipment loans are made for around six months.

The equipment has made such a big difference to Jake’s behaviour that the Baillies have now applied to Newlife for a permanent bed, costing £2,899. This will help them continue to manage his ‘meltdowns’ and enable them to stay overnight with friends and family and even go on holiday as the bed folds down for easy transport and will provide a continuity of bedtime routines.

Clive said: “We had to cut short our last holiday after just two days away because of Jake’s behaviour. But with a safe sleeping environment we can think about making plans for this year.”

Through equipment grants and loans Newlife has supported 106 families in Lincolnshire, with expenditure totalling £115,498. If you would like to help fund a permanent bed for Jake, go to: www.newlifecharity.co.uk/lincolnshire and click on the Donate Now button next to his story. Alternatively, contact the Newlife County Liaison Team on 01543 431 444, email [email protected]

Right now, there are a total of five families in the county with equipment needs of £4,896. Any money raised surplus to requirements for Jake will be used to help other children in Lincolnshire. Newlife guarantees that 100 per cent of monies donated or fundraised in Lincolnshire will be used to specifically help children with disabilities and terminal illness in the county.

Pictured: Jake Baillie

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