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The family of Oldham girl Ruby Baker are backing the launch of an appeal to provide specialist equipment for children with disabilities in Greater Manchester.

Ruby’s mum is so pleased with the specialist car seat that now enables her daughter to travel in safety that she is urging local people to help change the lives of other local children.

Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children has helped 235 families in Greater Manchester through equipment grants and loans totalling £191,571, so we know there is a very real local need.

That’s why Newlife – the largest charity funder of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness in the UK – is launching the Newlife Greater Manchester Fund – It is an opportunity for local people to help local disabled children and every penny donated or fundraised in Greater Manchester is guaranteed to support families in the county.

In this way we aim to help more children, more quickly.

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 Ruby (full story below) who was provided with a specialist car seat that improves the whole family’s safety and meets essential care needs for the youngster.

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. Right now, there are 39 families in the Greater Manchester area who need equipment totalling £41,459.

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

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

Vitally, the Greater Manchester Fund website – – will enable local people to find out who needs help in the county right now and highlight the support the charity gives vulnerable families. It includes contact details for the Newlife County Liaison Team – telephone number 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 Greater Manchester 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 Greater Manchester through a range of free services:

Nurse-staffed helpline

Equipment grants

Emergency equipment loans

Sensory and developmental toy ‘pod’ loans.


A simple piece of specialist equipment means little Ruby Baker can now travel to school and medical appointments in safety – fully supported and comfortable.

The seven-year-old is a full-time wheelchair user and is totally dependent on her family for all her care needs and activities of daily living. Ruby cannot stand or sit independently and it is very important she has supportive seating as she has little head control.

Her old standard car seat – which she had outgrown – didn’t provide the postural support that is vital because of her condition. There was no local statutory services funding available for a £1,435 specialist seat that would keep her properly secured with additional harnessing and support her head during travel, so mum Natalie Baker turned to Newlife.

Natalie said: “The morning school run is now so much smoother without having a fight with a car seat and belt.

“It takes so much time off the day and most importantly Ruby is so comfy and cocooned in such the seat which meets all her needs.”

Pictured: Ruby Baker