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The family of local County Derry girl Analie McCaffery are backing the launch of an appeal to provide specialist equipment for children with disabilities in the county.

Analie’s mum is so grateful for the specialist cot bed she now has to keep her five-year-old daughter safe through the night that she is urging local people to help change the lives of other local children.

Right now, there are three children with disabilities or a terminal illness in County Derry who need your help to get the specialist equipment that will really change their lives. That’s why leading UK children’s disability charity Newlife Foundation is launching the Newlife County Derry Fund – It is an opportunity for local people to help local disabled children and every penny donated or fundraised in County Derry is guaranteed to support vulnerable families in the county.

Special disability equipment including wheelchairs, walkers, beds, seating and communication aids can help give children independence, keep them safe, relieve pain and overcome challenges. For instance, you could help a child be discharged from hospital, take their first steps or kick a football with their friends. . . .

You can help Newlife help more children like Analie (full story below).

Together we can really change the lives of children with disability and terminal illness – supporting them to experience and enjoy life and all that we take for granted.

Newlife has already helped 48 children in County Derry through equipment grants and loans totalling more than £38,000 so we know there is a very real need for a specific county fund. In this way we aim to help more children, more quickly.

Statutory services in County Derry often have a responsibility to make equipment provision – but when help is declined, Newlife steps in. The charity challenges many such decisions and has an impressive success rate. However, where we are unable to overturn these decisions, we provide the equipment ourselves through our range of grant and loan services. We do this with the support of front-line health professionals across County Derry who have helped Newlife help local children in real need.

The Newlife County Derry Fund will support equipment provision for under-19s facing any significant disability, whether acquired through birth defect, prematurity, accident or illness.

Vitally, the Newlife County Derry Fund website – – will enable local people to find out who needs help in their county right now and highlight the support the charity gives vulnerable families. It includes contact details for the Newlife County Liaison Team – tel no 01543 431 444 or email – and shows specific ways people can help support children with disability and terminal illness and their families.

That might involve taking part in a local sporting challenge, give you information on how to organise a fundraising event – or even ask you to donate £5 today! Volunteers are also needed to help raise awareness of what we do and how we do it.

We hope that by launching the Newlife County Derry Fund, children with disabilities or terminal illness in the county won’t have to go without the equipment they need for everyday life.

Newlife Foundation supports families in County Derry through a range of free services:

Nurse-staffed helpline

Equipment grants

Emergency equipment loans

Sensory and developmental toy ‘pod’ loans.


Analie from Maghera has Autistic Spectrum Disorder and was sleeping in a standard baby cot next to her mum’s bed to keep her safe at night, but after being given a special cot bed she can now sleep in her own room – and her mum can get some much needed rest.

Part of five-year-old Analie’s condition means she has severe learning difficulties and doesn’t speak, although she will say ‘dada’. She has no understanding of danger and can’t be left unsupervised. Because Analie is a lively girl her lack of understanding puts her in dangerous situations unless she is closely supervised at all times.

Analie had outgrown her cot, which had become very cramped for her and when she woke up she would rock it backwards and forwards, putting her at risk of injury. When her mum, Larisa McNamee, bought a toddler bed for her she would wake and wander around, prompting her mum to put her back into the cot and sleep in a bed next to her so she would always wake if Analie got up.

“I asked another mum at Analie’s school about special beds and she told me about Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children. I looked them up on the internet and got in touch,” said Larisa.

Newlife is the UK’s largest charity funder of children’s specialist disability equipment and the bed, which cost £5,208, will ensure Analie remains safe through the night and help her mum introduce strategies to encourage her to sleep in her own room.

Larisa added: “The new cot is brilliant. There is more room for her and she can’t get out of it on her own. Because the sides of the cot are so high she can’t climb out.

“Analie still wakes in the night but at least I know she’s safe now. This bed should last her until she is a young adult, so she’s sorted for a while.”

Pictured: Analie McCaffery