A special car seat has made a big difference to an Ipstones one-year-old and his family as he can now travel in safety and comfort.
Journeys in his standard car seat would often make one-year-old Zach Otter cry as it didn’t give him the level of support he needs. He has a rare brain and nervous system disorder that delays development and means he doesn’t have full head control and is unable to sit on his own. He also has loose, floppy muscles which can make it hard to position him easily and he is fed via tubes.
The car seat Zach was using was making him hot, sweaty and generally uncomfortable, but although his family searched for a replacement car seat, they couldn’t find anything suitable themselves which would give him the support he needs.
Then Zach’s physiotherapist recommended the family contact Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children, the UK’s largest charity provider of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness – which was then able to fund the £431 seat, thanks to a £380 donation from Santander staff based at the George Street branch in Tamworth. Santander have raised more than £10,000 as part of an ongoing partnership with Newlife Foundation.
Zach’s mum, Susan, said: “He is so much more comfortable now – and he even falls asleep on journeys which he didn’t do in his old seat. He loves it – and he can see out of the window in this one too.
“We needed a chair that was big enough to fit him, but would also give him the support he needs and it has made it much easier to do longer journeys now so we can go and see my family and friends and go much further afield. The new car seat also a base which twists so it’s much easier to get him in and out of the car – which also helps my back.”
Santander donated £10,363.45 to Newlife raised through staff events and match funding from the bank. As well as a sale event at Tamworth Castle, ‘Sparkle Parties’ were also held, selling jewellery donated by manufacturers to Newlife’s successful recycling and retail business which funds the charity. These were held across Staffordshire including Santander branches in Walsall and Crewe.
Keleigh Tomlinson, Newlife’s Midlands Regional Fundraising and Awareness Manager, said: “Tamworth Santander has been amazing to work with and we are delighted with the success of the sale at the Castle Hotel, Tamworth. The ongoing support from Dawn Fradley and Alana Scanlon at Santander has been remarkable and I am truly grateful.
“The money raised will make a significant difference to the lives of children with disabilities, such as Zach; we really cannot thank them enough.”
Newlife has provided specialist equipment for 767 children in Staffordshire, totalling £934,739. However, the charity is currently working with a further 23 families, with combined equipment needs of £12,443. If you would like to help a disabled child in your area, go to: www.newlifecharity.co.uk/staffordshire. Alternatively, you could contact the Newlife County Liaison Team on 01543 431 444, email email@example.com.
If you would like to fundraise for Newlife in the Staffordshire area visit www.newlifecharity.co.uk for some inspiration or call Staffordshire Fundraising and Awareness Manager Keleigh Tomlinson on 07973 473268.
Newlife guarantees that 100 per cent of monies donated in Staffordshire will be used to provide specialist equipment for children in the county.
For full details of Newlife Foundation’s range of practical support for disabled and terminally ill children and their families, call the Newlife Nurse Helpline – 0800 902 0095 (free from UK landlines and mobiles) – or go to: https://newlifecharity.co.uk
Pictured: Zach Otter