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Newlife calls on the Government to Fight For Our Future

We at Newlife are incredibly proud to launch our new campaign, Fight For Our Future, alongside Royal College of Occupational Therapists, Disabled Children’s Partnership, Caudwell Children, Whizz-Kidz, British Healthcare Trades Association and Family Fund. Here, Newlife’s Campaign Manager Matthew Jackson explains how you can join the fight:

At a time when the number of disabled children has nearly doubled in the last decade, we wanted to understand how local services are responding to this increasing demand.

To do this, we engaged with hundreds of families and professionals on the front line, conducted research of local services across the country, and collaborated with a number of charities and organisations in this sector.

One conclusion became painfully clear – it has never been more difficult for disabled children and their families to access the support they need, particularly for specialist equipment.

Disabled children and their families are being continually let down, caught in the middle of a dysfunctional system which is devoid of leadership, chronically short on professionals and suffering from insufficient equipment budgets. Children pay the price through devastating wait times for assessment, which in some areas exceeds three years.

Our findings reveal the stark numbers beneath this story. Despite record demand, 60% of local services saw assessment waits grow, and nearly half spent less on specialist equipment than the year before. Consequently, only 2 in 5 families feel their child has all the equipment they need.

This is leaving growing numbers of disabled children falling through the cracks left by a system which is not fit for purpose.

We heard from a young man called Rhys who has cerebral palsy and requires a hoist in order to access everyday family life. Two years after first asking, local services provided a hoist they knew to be unsuitable, just to tick a box. Thankfully, Newlife stepped in and provided the right equipment. However Mum was left asking what if Newlife had not been there?

A boy in a wheelchair being strapped into a hoist by his mum.

Rhys and his mum Kelly turned to Newlife for help after a two-year wait for statutory provision.

Disabled children deserve local services which are proactive and responsive to their needs, to ensure they are able to live a life free from pain and with the opportunities to achieve their full potential. We call on the Government to recognise this and make disabled children a priority at the highest level.

This can be achieved through establishing a dedicated Minister for Disabled Children at the heart of decision-making, shaping policies across a range of departments including health, transport, and education. This role should #ACTNow to accelerate equipment provision, cut assessment wait times and tackle staff shortages.

We ask that you sign our petition today at to tell party leaders that your vote will go to the party who will make disabled children a priority at the next election.

It’s time to prioritise the well-being and potential of disabled children and ensure they receive the care, leadership, and attention they deserve. It’s time to end the fight for their futures.

#FightForOurFuture #TeamNewlife