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RIVER ISLAND HELPS EVA TRAVEL SAFELY

When you are asked to pay five pence for a carrier bag in a store have you ever wondered what happens to the money? Well, in the case of River Island outlets – like the one in the Rochdale Exchange Centre – all profits from sales of carrier bags are donated to national charity Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children.

Four-year-old Eva Lerman from Rochdale in Greater Manchester is one of the many children to benefit from this life-changing initiative.

Not many parents have that extra worry about their child being kept safe in their car seat – because it offers them the safety and support they need. But for Eva’s parents this was an added and constant worry. Thanks to Newlife, Eva can now be transported safely with her new special car seat that gives her the postural support she needs.

Eva is a very happy and content little girl who has Angelman Syndrome, a genetic condition resulting from the deletion of part of her maternal number 15 chromosome. The condition results in severe developmental delay including seizures and epilepsy, sleep disturbance, difficulty with balance and walking and inability to speak.

A special car seat was needed as it was becoming more and more difficult for her parents Sam and Claire Lerman to transfer her safely in and out of the car especially as she is growing – it also didn’t offer her enough postural support to travel safely.

Dad Sam said:” The problem for Eva was that the old car seat didn’t provide the level of support necessary for her to travel comfortably and safely. She could get her arms out of the straps and raise her legs to touch the headrest of the front seat. We felt it was dangerous and uncomfortable.

“However, just as important was the strain it was putting on Claire’s back. As Eva grows it was increasingly difficult to lift and twist her to get her into a standard car seat. In fact it became almost impossible for Claire as she was in constant pain and dreaded the next outing.”

With bag levy funding from River Island, Newlife – the largest charity funder of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness in the UK – provided Eva with a special car seat costing £2,177.

This ensures Eva’s safety in the family car and her parent’s minds are at ease knowing that her health is no longer at risk while travelling. Eva loves to go swimming and now that she has the correct equipment to travel, she and her family are able to do the things she enjoys.

Sam added: “The new seat has a rotating base which enables Claire to easily transfer Eva in and out of the car which is a great deal easier for her and puts less strain on her back. Most importantly it allows Eva to sit comfortably and safely. There is a tray table and foot harness to stop her from putting her feet on the seat in front and the harness is sturdy and comfortable and doesn’t allow her arms to escape. It is also made extra secure because you fasten the car seatbelt right across her.”

Newlife Foundation CEO Sheila Brown added: “As local authority budget cuts continue to bite, more and more families are turning to charities like Newlife for specialist equipment which can help transform young lives. Having the national support of River Island is an enormous boost for us.”

She added: “Anyone struggling to access equipment through their statutory services should call our Newlife Nurse Helpline – 0800 902 0095 (free from UK landlines and mobiles) to discuss their individual situation.”

Newlife has funded specialist equipment for 429 children in Greater Manchester, worth over £300,000. If you think you could help a child in the county, go to www.newlifecharity.co.uk/GreaterManchester for further details.

If you would like to find out more about Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children and how to access its services, call the Newlife Nurse Helpline or go to www.newlifecharity.co.uk. Alternatively, contact the Newlife County Liaison Team on 01543 431 444, email [email protected]

Pictured: Eva Lerman

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