Lord Shuttleworth, Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire, is supporting a local initiative to fund more specialist equipment for children with disabilities or terminal illness in the county.
Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children helps dozens of families Lancashire, and Lord Shuttleworth – the Queen’s official representative in the county – is backing the charity’s drive to ensure more local babies, children and young people get the equipment support they need, when they really need it.
He said: “I would like to encourage Lancashire people to support Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children to expand its existing work in the county to meet the increasing demands for help from Lancashire families. Grants for specialist equipment and an emergency loan service have been made for many years – but more help is needed. Money raised in the county will all be spent in the county, and I commend Newlife, an independent charity.”
Right now, there are 23 disabled and terminally ill children in Lancashire 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 Lancashire Fund – www.newlifecharity.co.uk/lancashire. It is an opportunity for local people to help local disabled children and every penny donated or fundraised in Lancashire 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 take their first steps or kick a football with their friends. . . .
Together we can really change the lives of disabled children – supporting them to experience and enjoy life and all that we take for granted.
Newlife has already helped 318 children in Lancashire (see Rory’s story below) through equipment grants and loans totalling more than £422,000, 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 Lancashire 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 Lancashire who have helped Newlife help local children in real need.
The Newlife Lancashire Fund will support equipment provision for under-19s facing any significant disability, whether acquired through birth defect, prematurity, accident or illness.
Vitally, the Newlife Lancashire Fund website – www.newlifecharity.co.uk/lancashire – 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 [email protected] – and shows specific ways people can help support local disabled children 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 Lancashire Fund, children with disabilities or a terminal illness in the county won’t have to go without the equipment they need for everyday life.
Newlife Foundation supports families in Lancashire through a range of free services:
Emergency equipment loans
Sensory and developmental toy ‘pod’ loans.
BUGGY BOOST FOR RORY, AGED THREE
Getting a simple piece of specialist disability equipment has given Preston parents Sally and Henry the ‘freedom’ to take their son Rory out and about in comfort and safety.
As a result of a premature birth, Lancashire three-year-old Rory Curzon-Smith has chronic lung disease and has not reached some of his developmental milestones; he is unable to sit, stand or move independently and needs to be positioned correctly for comfort.
They needed specialist equipment – but local statutory services could only contribute £1,460 towards the total cost of £3,116. So they turned to Newlife Foundation which provided the £1,656 balance – and the buggy arrived just in time for a trip to Cornwall to stay with grandparents.
Dad Henry Smith said: “As Rory got bigger a standard buggy just didn’t offer enough support for him and he was uncomfortable; the alternative was to carry him everywhere, which can’t have been good for him either. As a result there was time when we were virtually housebound because it was so difficult to take him out.”
Henry continued: “The new buggy plays a central role in our lives. It is easy to manage and gives Rory the level of postural support he needs to be comfortable. It has given us more freedom to get out and about – and the confidence to do it.”
He added: “Getting it in time to visit my parents in Cornwall made such a difference to the trip.”
Rory attends part-time nursery, where, says dad Henry, he is able to join in so many more activities with use of the buggy. He said: “The nursery does a great job with him and the buggy is making a huge difference there too.”
Pictured: Rory Curzon-Smith