Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children is seeking help from volunteers as it saw an unprecedented 300% increase in calls to its Nurse Helpline last year. This continues to rise as cuts in statutory services are causing families with disabled children to reach out for help to meet the daily challenges of care. As services decline, many families don’t know where to turn for information and support and rely on the charity more than ever. This combined with rising unemployment means that many cannot afford to supplement care and equipment. Newlife, the UK’s leading children’s disability charity, provide a range of services and equipment to children who are disabled, have long-term health conditions or who are terminally ill. The charity received over 3000 calls last year from families all over the UK with disabled children that desperately needed additional provisions, support and advice. Newlife is determined to ensure that families are not left feeling alone as a result of the economic cut-backs and unemployment. To ensure families know they can count on Newlife, the charity is seeking help from local groups and volunteers to put up posters and distribute leaflets in their area, reassuring families within the West Midlands that real support from qualified nurses is just a phone call away. Newlife CEO, Sheila Brown, OBE said: “There is a massive danger that these cuts could leave many families with disabled children high and dry. It is vitally important that people have somewhere to turn to when they need help. That is why Newlife is always on standby to provide support, be it helping to ensure that disabled children are able to get a vital piece of equipment or to lend an ear for families needing help to cope with the strain of looking after a disabled child.” A parent of a young boy with Alternating Hemiplegia (a very rare neurological condition in which transient attacks of paralysis occur) who wished to remain anonymous said: “As a single parent, the support and advice that Newlife gave to me was priceless. I don’t know what I would have done without them.” Newlife has already helped 283 children across the West Midlands spending £396,628.72 and takes thousands of calls from families in the area every year. In addition to the nurse-managed helpline, the charity makes grants to buy equipment to help children and families and has recently launched a priority loans scheme of equipment to help terminally ill children. Families who need information can call free phone on 0800 902 0095. Newlife know of three disabled West Midlands children who are currently desperately in need of equipment costing £6,183.63, so if you can help distribute information or fundraise, please call 01543 468 888.
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