Latest Newlife News


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 High Chelmer Shopping Centre – all profits from sales of carrier bags are donated to national charity Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children.

Four-year-old Harry Hobbs from Braintree in Essex is one of the many children to benefit from this life-changing initiative.

Not many parents have to worry about their child being kept safe in their car seat – because the equipment offers them the safety and support they need. But Harry needed specialist support. Thanks to Newlife, he can now be transported safely with his new special car seat.

Harry has Autism, global developmental delay and hypermobility which means he has extra movement in his joints. A special car seat was needed as it was becoming more and more difficult for mum Stacey McElligott to transfer him safely in and out of the vehicle because he exceeded the weight limit of his standard car seat. This had started to take its toll on Stacey’s back and the standard seat didn’t offer Harry enough postural support to travel safely and comfortably.

Mum Stacey said: “The more Harry grew the harder it became when transferring him in and out of the car. It was putting such a strain on my back every time I had to lift and twist to get him into a standard car seat. Because of Harry’s hypermobility he needs extra core support which his previous seat did not give him.”

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 Harry with a special car seat costing £614.75.

Stacey added: “The new seat has made a big difference. I can easily transfer Harry in and out of the car, putting less strain on my back. Most importantly it allows Harry to sit comfortably and safely. The seat has a five point harness making it sturdy and comfortable and doesn’t allow him to unclip himself. With the extra padding his posture and core are supported correctly.”

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 274 children in Essex, worth over £336,633. If you think you could help a child in the county, go to 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

Pictured: Harry Hobbs