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Special seating will make a huge difference to Essex four-year-old Ruby-Mo Collier, who will be comfy and supported in an upright position so she can play more easily and be more involved with family activities.

Ruby-Mo, from the Rainham area, has a complex chromosomal abnormality which is life limiting. She has breathing problems and has already been admitted to hospital 35 times with chest infections and has been ventilated four times. Ruby-Mo is tube fed and isn’t able to roll or crawl, but she has some head control which has improved over time and she is able to babble and can grasp objects.

Although Ruby-Mo has been using a P-Pod for a while, which is essentially a bean bag with a moulded seat attached, which helps her relax in comfort, she is now ready for the next step – a more structured chair. This will help her be much more upright to help her breathing, while being fully supported so she can take part in more activities at home, school and at the hospice she attends.

Mum Kiran Madan said: “The P-Pod has been great and we will still use it. She doesn’t like to be in it for too long now though – she wants to be upright and more active.”

As the chair is on wheels it also means she can easily be wherever her mum is and even help her to play so she can enjoy her favourite messy activities.

Mum Kiran adds: “Ruby-Mo has to be kept at just the right angle for her breathing and this chair will help do that, it’s better for her posture to be upright and it will help prevent her spine going out of shape. This chair means she can sit next to me and take everything in. It will also help me because if she is comfortable she will settle for longer and I can read her a story.

“The seat will make a huge difference to Ruby and to me. Everyone else can sit on the sofa at the end of a day in the office and be comfortable. She needs different chairs too.”

Right now, there are another 19 children with disabilities or a terminal illness in Essex who need your help to get the specialist equipment that will really change their lives. That’s why Newlife Foundation has launched the Newlife Essex Fund – It is an opportunity for local people to help local disabled children and every penny donated or fundraised in Essex is guaranteed to support vulnerable families in the area.

Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children has already helped 172 children in Essex through equipment grants and loans totalling nearly £253,869 so the charity knows there is a very real need for a specific county fund. In this way it aims to help more children, more quickly.

The Newlife Essex Fund supports equipment provision for under-19s facing any significant disability, whether acquired through birth defect, prematurity, accident or illness.

Vitally, the Newlife Essex Fund website – – will enable local people to find out who needs help in their county right now and highlight our support. It includes contact details for the Newlife County Liaison Team – tel no 01543 431 444 or email – and shows specific ways people can help support children with disability and terminal illness and their families.

That might involve taking part in a local sporting challenge, give you information on how to organise a fundraising event – or even ask you to donate £5 today! Volunteers are also needed to help raise awareness of what we do and how we do it.

We hope that by launching the Newlife Essex Fund, children with disabilities or terminal illness in the county won’t have to go without the equipment they need for everyday life.

Newlife Foundation supports families in Essex through a range of free services:

Nurse-staffed helpline

Equipment grants

Emergency equipment loans

Sensory and developmental toy ‘pod’ loans.

Pictured: Ruby-Mo Collier