Four-year-old Archie Harding, from Alton in Hampshire, can now get out and about in safety, thanks to the generous listeners at BBC Radio 4.
TV presenter Jon Bentley was the voice of a BBC Radio 4 charity appeal in December (2015) on behalf of Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children – and now more than a dozen children across the UK, including Archie, are seeing the benefits. Newlife is the UK’s largest charity provider of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness.
Jon Bentley – who presents Channel 5’s innovative The Gadget Show – is a Newlife supporter. He says: “I find it truly exceptional how Newlife offers invaluable free help which transforms the lives of children with disabilities and terminal illness and their families.”
Newlife National Head of Fundraising Michael Bolton added: “The weekly Radio 4 charity appeal regularly gets 2.3million listeners, and we were delighted to be chosen for this opportunity to let more people know what we do and how we do it. Thanks to the generosity of Radio 4 listeners who so kindly responded to our appeal, we are now providing specialist equipment for a number of children with disabilities and terminal illness around the UK.”
How Newlife is helping Archie . . .
Archie has an undiagnosed developmental delay that affects his physical and cognitive abilities. With a limited attention span, no awareness of danger and a tendency to run off at any moment, trips out with mum Shelley Ford can be challenging.
Shelley said: “Archie has now outgrown standard pushchairs, but taking him out without one is difficult. He doesn’t understand standing still or holding hands so I can’t take my eyes off him even for a moment. I have been lucky enough to be able to borrow, at weekends, a larger special needs buggy from his pre-school, but this isn’t always available.
“I have been hoping to get this equipment from our local wheelchair services for ages, but there is a long waiting list. That’s why Archie’s occupational therapist recommended I contact Newlife. Now, we have a specialist buggy of our own and it will help so much.
“There are lots of vehicles on the estate where we live and so I am always aware of the dangers when we go out. The new buggy helps on a daily basis, just doing simple things like going to pre-school, the doctors’ surgery or even shopping. It is a relief knowing Archie is safe.”
Newlife has helped provide £576,654 of equipment for 371 children with disabilities and terminal illness in Hampshire. Right now, the charity is currently working with another 12 families in the county with equipment needs totalling £8,829.
To find out more about how Newlife supports families in Hampshire go to: www.newlifecharity.co.uk/hampshire. The website includes contact details for the Newlife County Liaison Team – tel no 01543 431 444 or email email@example.com – and shows specific ways people can help support children with disability and terminal illness and their families in the county.
Newlife guarantees that 100 per cent of monies donated or fundraised in Hampshire will be used to specifically help children with disabilities and terminal illness in the county.
Pictured: Archie Harding