Seven-year-old Charlie Moore has severe Autism, ADHD and can only say a few words. One of the effects of his condition is he feels the desire to hit his head repeatedly against any hard surface – to such an extent that he’s burst a blood vessel in his face, leaving him with two black eyes.
But the overnight respite care provided by the local authority once a week is frequently cancelled because the unit doesn’t have a safe place for him to sleep.
Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children transformed life for Charlie and his family last summer by providing a specialist bed with high soft sides for their Bewdley home that protects him from seriously injuring himself through the night. Now the charity needs to raise £2,899 to fund a travel version of the special bed so he can continue to go to respite.
“Watching him try to hurt himself is emotionally draining”
Annette said: “Charlie sleeps much better at home now and if he does wake I know he’s safe – but coping with a child with special needs every day can be exhausting and watching him try to hurt himself is emotionally draining. Charlie loves going to respite, but I’m always waiting for the call to drop everything and pick him up.”
“Charlie’s behaviour is very unpredictable and he has to take a helmet with him everywhere – if it looks like he might have a meltdown they call us to collect him. We don’t want him to stop going completely – but his safety has to come first.
“If he had a travel version of the specialist bed we have at home, he would be able to stay there without any risk.
“The majority of my time is spent looking after Charlie so having a break once a week helps me cope and be a better mum. I also get to spend a bit of quality time with my other son Lewis, who’s ten.
Newlife’s Head of Charity Operations Stephen Morgan says: “The benefit of respite care can be enormous, both for the child and the family as a whole. We want to help Charlie stay away from home overnight without risk of injury. However, with an increase in demand for our services, we simply don’t have funds in the bank to help every disabled child.
“The number of disabled children in the West Midlands has risen by 13,351 in the last year alone, with Newlife currently trying to help six children in urgent need. This is why we’re calling on the local businesses and members of the community to help raise funds to ensure Charlie and other local children get the right equipment they need at the right time.”
If you think you could help Charlie by donating or fundraising, please visit www.newlifecharity.co.uk/worcestershire. Alternatively, contact Suzie or a member of the team on 01543 462777 or email [email protected].”
Any funds raised above what is needed for Charlie will be used to help other disabled and terminally ill children in Worcestershire.