A revolutionary harness which allows disabled children to walk goes on sale today, with Cannock-based charity Newlife Foundation already receiving its first application for the equipment.
The ‘Upsee’ was created by mother Debby Elnatan to help her son Rotem, who has Cerebral Palsy, learn to walk.
The design allows children to stand upright and attach themselves to their parents so they can take steps together. It goes on sale today, April 7.
The ground-breaking equipment was featured on ITV’s Central News on Tuesday, with Midlands’s girl Charlotte Taylor showing its potential by walking with her twin brother Daniel for the first time.
The very next morning, Newlife Foundation – which has funded more than £10million of specialist equipment for disabled children around the UK – received its first application from a Wolverhampton family.
Newlife CEO Sheila Brown, OBE, said: “We are always encouraged when we see technology developing to find new ways to help disabled and disadvantaged children.
“Mobility and independence are so important to any child whatever their disability. Following the launch of the Upsee and the publicity it has received we are now welcoming applications for the equipment.”
Sheila added: “However, whenever there is a breakthrough like this, and new equipment becomes available, somebody has to pay for it.
“With local authorities around the UK continuing to cut their budgets it is likely more families will be forced to turn to charities like Newlife Foundation to help fund this equipment.
“As always, we will be relying on the support of our donors, volunteers and fundraisers to enable us to help disabled children.
“If anyone would like to donate money to help a child in their county or in the UK, please contact the Newlife Community Fundraising Team.”
Northern Ireland company Leckey, which manufactures a wide range of disability equipment, has been chosen to produce the equipment, calling it the Firefly Upsee. Leckey has been an established supplier of equipment to Newlife Foundation for six years.
The Upsee allows small children and infants to stand and achieve repetitive walking training with the support of an adult. It includes a harness for the child which is attached to a belt worn by the parent or carer. It also comes with specially designed sandals allowing the adult and child to step simultaneously, leaving their hands free for play.
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