The families of three local children are backing the launch of an appeal to provide specialist equipment for children with disabilities in the county.
Parents of eight-year-old Tomas Owen from Cilcain, Evie Davies, four, from Teuddyn and 18-year-old Benjamin Davies who lives in Mold are now urging local people to help change the lives of other local children.
The Flintshire youngsters have recently respectively received a powered wheelchair, specialist car seat and a portable hoist and right now another four children with disabilities or a terminal illness in the county 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 Flintshire Fund – www.newlifecharity.co.uk/flintshire. It is an opportunity for local people to help local disabled children and every penny donated or fundraised in Flintshire 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 Tomas, Evie and Benjamin (full story below).
Newlife has already helped 50 children in Flintshire through equipment grants and loans totalling more than £53,186, 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 Flintshire 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 Flintshire who have helped Newlife help local children in real need.
The Newlife Flintshire Fund will support equipment provision for under-19s facing any significant disability, whether acquired through birth defect, prematurity, accident or illness.
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 Flintshire 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 Flintshire through a range of free services:
Emergency equipment loans
Sensory and developmental toy ‘pod’ loans.
At present, Newlife Foundation is working with four children in Greater London who require equipment grants and loans totalling £4,725. To learn more about disability needs in the area go to: www.newlifecharity.co.uk/flintshire. This enables local people to find out who needs help in their area right now and highlights the support the charity gives vulnerable families. It includes contact details for the Newlife Liaison Team – telephone 01543 431 444 or email
TOMAS IS ABLE TO EXPLORE THE GREAT OUTDOORS
A new electric wheelchair provided for Tomas Owen has changed his life. The eight-year-old from Cilcain has Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus and he is unable to stand or walk, but now instead of being shut indoors Tomas is out with the other youngsters on the field and happy to be “one of the lads”.
Tomas’ mum Clare explained: “We have recently received our power chair and it has made a huge difference.
“Living in a small village it is hard for my son to socialise. Now he can drive down to the field where all the kids hang out.
“The whole family can now go out for long walks instead of me and Tomas having to stay at home,” Clare added.
“Last year we had our village show and Tomas had to miss out because his manual wheelchair was no good because it had rained so much – that won’t happen again.”
No statutory funding was available so the cost of Tomas’ new equipment, £9,274, was funded by Newlife Foundation.
EVIE NEEDED HER NEW SEAT
Evie Davies is a pretty four-year-old who lives in Teuddyn and has been diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and West Syndrome. She needed a specialist car seat to get to medical and therapy sessions and Newlife provided the equipment, which provides appropriate postural and head support and a five point harness that can quickly be released by an adult if medical assistance is needed.
“She seems a lot happier in the seat,” said her father Dave. “If she had stayed in the old seat she would not have been very uncomfortable.
“These seats are a lot of money but they are necessities – she has this equipment because she needs them.”
The cost of the new seat was £859.
POSITIVE PURCHASE: A NEW HOIST FOR BENJAMIN
A teenager and his family from Mold were given the gift of more freedom when Newlife Foundation provided a portable hoist.
“It enables him to get out of the house more and more freedom when we are out and about or on our holidays,” said dad Philip Davies about his son Benjamin.
“We need to be able to get Benjamin the car, otherwise we have to lift him which is not good for him or us.
“Being able to take the hoist us apart makes it easier and enables us to use the hoist in all sorts of places.”
Eighteen-year-old Benjamin has a diagnosis of Duchene Muscular Dystrophy, Cardio Myopathy and Learning Disability. The portable hoist enables Benjamin to access community facilities and nights away from home. Newlife Foundation funded the £2,500 purchase.
Pictured: Tomas Owen