Three-year-old Noah Tilson is able to make the most of his days at nursery thanks to the intervention of a children’s charity that has provided specialist disability equipment to help him stand and walk.
Noah, from Green Hammerton near York, has Cerebral Palsy that affects the use of his legs and – to a lesser extent – his arms.
Mum Sasha said: “We have had a real problem getting equipment because Noah is in the lull before school age. He started at the local pre-school nursery in January, but the local authority wouldn’t supply any equipment to support Noah in school. This was despite the fact that his occupational therapist and physiotherapist said he really needed a standing frame and walker so he could go out with the other children and move around at playtime.
“Fortunately, one of the specialists I talked to told me to look on the website for Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children.”
Newlife is the largest charity funder of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness in the UK. It provides equipment through grants and loans, supporting many hundreds of families each year. In addition, it offers refurbished equipment through its innovative service Newlifeable.
As many as 250,000 disabled children in the UK currently do not have the vital equipment they need for everyday life – and yet Newlife estimates there is £90million of disability equipment currently sitting, unused, in individual local authority stores.
Newlife decided to act and launched Newlifeable – which takes redundant equipment, refurbishes it and makes it available to families in real need, wherever they are in the UK.
Newlife Head of Operations Stephen Morgan said: “The number of children in need around the UK is rising but the budgets set for provision through statutory services are declining at local levels. So new and innovative ways must be found to make provision and it is simply a waste of resources for organisations to hold equipment they don’t need. Newlifeable demonstrates the importance of getting this equipment back into circulation nationally.”
Sasha found exactly what she was looking for on the Newlifeable website page – www.newlifeable.co.uk. She said: “It has been a significant benefit to Noah now has the equipment he needs in pre-school, because our experience is that we have had to fight for every bit of support for him. These items help him integrate at playtime and mean he gets so much more enjoyment from his early learning experience.”
The equipment will also have a positive impact on his welfare, helping to improve his muscle tone and aid circulation and digestion.
Right now, there are another 11 disabled and terminally ill children in North Yorkshire who need your help to get the specialist equipment that will really change their lives. That’s why the charity has set up the Newlife North Yorkshire Fund – www.newlifecharity.co.uk/northyorkshire. It is an opportunity for local people to help local disabled children and every penny donated or fundraised in North Yorkshire is guaranteed to support vulnerable families in the county.
The Newlife North Yorkshire Fund website page 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.
Pictured: Noah Tilson