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The family of a disabled seven-year-old from Sandbach have been given a vital piece of specialist equipment thanks to the partnership between Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children and high street retailer, River Island.

Neve Cockram has profound brain damage and relies on her parents Liz and Sandy for every aspect of her life.

Liz said: “Neve doesn’t have the same abilities as other children her age – she can’t speak or walk and she doesn’t understand the world around her. We use a lot of specialist equipment to make Neve’s life easier – she has a wheelchair to get around, specialist seating to keep her supported, a standing frame, a specialist car seat and more.”

The one thing the family didn’t have was a hoist and as Neve is growing and getting heavier Liz and Sandy were putting themselves at risk by having to lift her from one position to another.

Liz said: “Neve will twist her body when you pick her up so it was getting to the point where we weren’t able to safely move her – we were terrified that we would drop her and the risk of injury to ourselves was also concerning. As Neve’s primary carer, if I am unable to lift her then we would be completely stuck.”

With the help of funding provided by River Island’s plastic bag levy, Newlife was able to provide Neve with a portable hoist that will not only make life much easier for the family when they are at home, but will also allow them to contemplate spending more time away from home.

“Having this hoist will open up so many more opportunities to us as a family,” said Liz. “We haven’t been away for over three years – Neve’s little brother, Oliver, has never had a holiday – but now we have the hoist that is going to be so much more possible. We can even think about spending more time with Neve’s grandparents which will give us all some much needed respite.”

Neve’s hoist was provided through a joint initiative between Newlife and River Island. For over twenty, the popular high street store has been supporting the charity, most recently donating the profits from its 10p carrier bags to fund hundreds of pieces of specialist equipment for disabled and terminally ill children around the UK.