Seven-year-old Ted Grove-Welsh, from Swindon in Wiltshire, is sitting 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 Ted, 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 Ted . . .
Ted has a rare brain condition – one of only six people in the UK. He is unable to sit unaided and experiences painful muscle contractures which can last for hours at a time. In addition, he has scoliosis, a curvature of the spine, so he needs to be appropriately positioned to help reduce further pain.
After a day at school, where he uses a wheelchair, he is too tired to be able to sit safely on the family settee, even with supports, so his parents or older brother need to be with him at all times.
Newlife has now provided the family with a specialist chair – called a PPod – that has a seat specially moulded to Ted’s body shape. This will give him maximum postural support and comfort so he can relax in the PPod. And his parents can relax, knowing he is safe and cannot fall.
Mum Zoe Grove-Welsh said: “Ted is at an age where he wants to be more independent, and having the PPod means he can sit comfortably by himself and be safe. His scoliosis is so bad that he wears a cast all day and his medical team are currently considering an operation. The seat gives him an opportunity to sit, without the cast, but still be properly positioned.”
The PPod has a tray, so Ted has somewhere to put his toys and gadgets, and is on wheels so it can easily be moved around the house and garden. “He loves being out in the garden in the good weather, so this will be a very versatile piece of equipment,” said Zoe, adding: “The PPod is brilliant, not just for Ted but the whole family, because it brings us together more.”
Newlife has helped provide £188,226 of equipment for 91 children with disabilities and terminal illness in Wiltshire. Right now, the charity is currently working with another five families in the county with equipment needs totalling £2,295.
To find out more about how Newlife supports families in Wiltshire go to: www.newlifecharity.co.uk/wiltshire. The website 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 children with disability and terminal illness and their families in the county.
Newlife guarantees that 100 per cent of monies donated or fundraised in Wiltshire will be used to specifically help children with disabilities and terminal illness in the county.
Pictured: Ted Grove-Welsh