A portable hoist provided by Newlife, the Charity for Disabled Children and Marks & Spencer, will allow power chair football enthusiast, Sam Rhys-Turner, the ability to continue playing the sport he loves as well as spend time with his dad at the weekends.
Seventeen-year-old Sam from Denton in Manchester, has Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 2. He relies on support for all aspects of his life and has used a powered wheelchair since he was 18 months old. A huge football fan and Manchester United supporter, Sam decided that he wanted to do something positive with his disability so on discovering local side, Sale United, had a powerchair team, he signed himself up.
Now the Manchester College student travels all over the country playing in tournaments and regularly needs to stay in hotels. But his mobility is severely limited and Sam even relies on someone to turn him over in the night. Without the portable hoist, Sam wouldn’t be able to carry on playing.
Sam said: “I like to think I’m quite ambitious and I have no intention of letting my disability hold me back – it’s my goal in life to be the first disabled football manager so I am studying Sports Science and Coaching. Having this hoist will allow me to continue playing the sport I am passionate about but it will also let me spend time with my dad who suffers really badly with his back and struggles to lift me – without the hoist we wouldn’t get to see each other as much which would be devastating for us both.”
Through its partnership with Marks & Spencer, Newlife has provided Sam with the £2,200 needed to fund his portable hoist so he can enjoy his full and active lifestyle.
M&S has worked in partnership with Newlife since 2006 as part of its Plan A commitments, donating returned products and clothing samples that cannot be sold, to the charity to be resold or recycled. The majority of the donated products are sold in the Newlife SuperStore in Staffordshire and the charity recycles the remaining items, all to raise money for children with disabilities. In October 2010, M&S launched a grants scheme, which has specifically helped fund over 260 pieces of essential equipment, totalling in excess of £850,000 for disabled children in local communities across the UK.
Jacquie Leonard, Community Programme Manager at Marks & Spencer, said: “Our partnership with Newlife is not only great for the environment but it also helps to improve the lives of disabled children by providing much-needed specialist equipment. We are delighted to be able to support such a vital charity.”
Newlife Head of Operations Stephen Morgan added: “The UK has more disabled children than ever before – and our partnership with M&S benefits hundreds of children. It’s an outrage that families have to ‘battle’ local services and yet still face heart-breaking refusals. The support of organisations like M&S means we can change lives across the UK every day.”
Newlife guarantees that 100 per cent of monies donated or fundraised in Greater Manchester will be used to specifically help children with disabilities and terminal illness in the area.