Latest Newlife News


The family of local Edinburgh girl Greta McMillan are backing the launch of an appeal to provide specialist equipment for children with disabilities in the city.

Greta’s parents are so grateful for the specialist seating they now have to keep their daughter safe and comfortable in the home that they are urging local people to help change the lives of other local children.

Right now, there are two children with disabilities or a terminal illness in Edinburgh 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 City of Edinburgh Fund – It is an opportunity for local people to help local disabled children and every penny donated or fundraised in Edinburgh is guaranteed to support vulnerable families in the city.

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 Greta (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 18 children in Edinburgh through equipment grants and loans totalling more than £46,000, so we know there is a very real need for a specific city fund. In this way we aim to help more children, more quickly.

Statutory services in Edinburgh 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 Edinburgh who have helped Newlife help local children in real need.

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

Vitally, the Newlife City of Edinburgh 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 City of Edinburgh 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 Edinburgh through a range of free services: Nurse-staffed helpline Equipment grants Emergency equipment loans Sensory and developmental toy ‘pod’ loans.


Specialist seating for a ten-year-old Edinburgh girl will support her recovery from hip reconstruction surgery and help prevent further deterioration to her spine while she enjoys her favourite TV programmes.

Greta McMillan, from Portobello, has Cerebral Palsy, which affects her whole body, and Epilepsy. She can’t move by herself and requires considerable postural support. Greta also has scoliosis, which is affecting her spine.

Local statutory services provided a functional seat for Greta but she can only tolerate this for short periods. So, until recently, when she was at home she spent much of her time on the family settee propped up with pillows. Dad Ian McMillan says: “This wasn’t good for Greta’s posture or her safety. What she really needed was a specialist comfortable seat.”

The cost of this equipment – £1,055 – prompted Ian and his wife Thea to contact Newlife Foundation for help.

Ian said: “Greta got to trial the seating and it really suited her. We like the fact that she can get into a really good position and she is less likely to get pressure sores. It’s such a really great and essential piece of kit which, now she has her own, we’re making good use of.”

Having the seating means that Greta can now look forward to relaxing in front of the television, just like any other ten-year-old. . . .

Pictured: Greta McMillan