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The community of Brixworth in Northamptonshire has thrown its support behind ‘Max’s Marvellous Mission’ and raised more than £4,000 to help disabled and terminally ill children in the county.

The ‘Max’ in question is five-year-old Max Brennan who has a complex genetic connective tissue disorder called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome that affects his joints, along with tibial torsion which makes it difficult to walk. Mum Emma Brennan says: “Some days he can walk and run around like other children his age, but for Max this is short lived.  He tires very easily and gets severe pain in his bones and joints, which means that other days just walking and holding himself up is too hard and has multiple falls and accidents. His condition is particularly affected by the weather, time of day and medication plays a big part in how his body feels so when it’s cold or wet he struggles to walk any distance and it was becoming increasingly obvious that he would need wheelchair support. A wheelchair will enable him to be independent and pace himself better.”

She added: “He doesn’t qualify with local statutory services to even get an assessment of his needs, so we approached Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children for help. They had previously given us a mobility buggy suitable for older children to help get Max out and about, but a self-propelling wheelchair is what he needs as he progresses.”

With funding support from Central England Co-operative – Newlife is its staff-elected charity – Max took delivery of his new £2,750 wheelchair earlier this month. Proud of his new ‘wheels’, Max said: “My new wheels are awesome – and thank you for supporting Max’s Marvellous Mission.”

Since 2012, colleagues and customers at Central England Co-operative stores have raised £1.3million for Newlife – every penny of which is being directly spent on providing specialist equipment for disabled and terminally ill children in the retailer’s trading area.

Nathan Shepherd, Manager at the convenience store in Stocks Hill, Moulton, said: “Central England Co-operative takes fundraising to help local communities very seriously, and we are committed to making a positive impact in the local areas in which we trade. Working with Newlife has provided a great opportunity for us to help make life easier for youngsters like Max.”

Knowing that he would be getting just the piece of equipment he needs to help him in his everyday life prompted Max to want to fundraise to help other children through Newlife. Emma said: “We set out to raise a couple of hundred pounds as a way of saying ‘thank you’ so we decided to take part in the Milton Keynes ‘Superhero’ fun run on May 1 and hold a barbecue and raffle in our garden in Brixworth.

“Everyone in the village has been so supportive – the funds just kept on coming in to our Just Giving page, all the teachers and pupils at the local school knew about it – and we were even stopped in the street and given money. Around 120 people turned up to our family garden barbecue and raffle and as a result of all this we have been able to donate £4,065 to Newlife to help other children with disabilities, like Max, in Northamptonshire.”

Emma added: “We’d like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to everyone who has supported Max’s Marvellous Mission – and to Central England Co-operative for their support of Newlife.”

Newlife is the UK’s largest charity provider of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness and has helped 233 under-19s in Northamptonshire. For more information about how Newlife supports local families, go to:

Anyone who would like to donate to Max’s Marvellous Mission can go to:

Pictured: Max in his new wheelchair, supplied by Newlife.