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The emergency loan of a specialist bed called a SafeSpace means four-year-old Owen Gallagher from Newcastle Upon Tyne in Tyne and Wear no longer has to sleep in a standard cot with the risk of falling out. This means he gets a good night’s rest out of harm’s way.

Owen is a lovely little boy who has an undiagnosed genetic condition. Although little is known about Owen’s condition it has resulted in him having developmental delay and has left him hearing impaired, unable to speak and walk.

Owen has no awareness of danger and when sleeping in his standard cot he would regularly climb, putting him at risk of falling over the sides. He has a very poor sleep pattern, and would make loud noises by kicking and banging things around him – sometimes waking the neighbours. His parents also got little sleep as they had to constantly listen out for Owen.

Mum Donna Anderton said: “We didn’t know what to do with Owen before we received the SafeSpace. Owen doesn’t sleep very much at all, we used to get about four hours of interrupted sleep. It was very difficult for us as we can’t explain to Owen what he can and cannot do.”

With no statutory funding available Donna turned to Newlife the UK’s leading charity provider of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness. Just a few days later, the charity installed a specialist bed to keep Owen safe. The equipment has high sides so he feels secure and can’t climb out and is padded to provide a low stimulation environment which encourages him to sleep.

“The new bed has been amazing; we no longer have to worry because he is safe. The bed makes him feel safe and secure. We go to sleep knowing that he is unable to get out of the bed. Even if he doesn’t want to go to sleep he is calm and unable to get out. Not only are we able to get some much needed rest now but Owen’s behaviour has improved in the day too. It’s made a difference for us all.”

Newlife provided the cot bed through its emergency equipment loan service. Equipment loans are made for around six months, while Newlife works with local statutory services to secure provision. If this is not possible, Newlife can further support families by looking at permanent provision through the equipment grant service.

Newlife has funded specialist equipment for 174 children in Tyne and Wear, worth over £200,000. If you think you could help a child in the county, go to for further details.

If you would like to find out more about Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children and how to access its services, call the Newlife Nurse Helpline or go to Alternatively, contact the Newlife County Liaison Team on 01543 431 444, email

Pictured: Owen Gallagher