Fabulous fundraisers at the River Island fashion store in Chapel Street, Southport, have helped a local disabled girl get the specialist equipment she needs to keep her safe.
A specialist travel harness is now making a world of difference to car journeys for the family of eight-year-old Lucy Taylor, from Walton.
Lucy has Autistic Spectrum Disorder and learning disabilities – and no awareness of danger. She has a booster seat for journeys, but she could undo her safety harness and bounce around the car.
Dad Colin Taylor said: “Whenever we were driving we would find her arms around our shoulders so an adult would always have to sit in the back of the car with her. On one occasion we were driving down the motorway to Blackpool to see the lights when she got out of her seat and the other people in the car couldn’t persuade her to get back in. There was merry hell going on behind me and I just couldn’t risk that happening again.
“Lucy’s support worker told us about specialist secure harnesses, and we were advised to contact Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children for help with funding.”
Newlife is the UK’s largest charity provider of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness – and with funding support from the Chapel Street River Island store it delivered the £545 harness just in time for the recent school holidays.
Colin added: “It’s been a huge help. Lucy is happy wearing the harness and, because she can’t get out of it, everyone’s safety is improved. It’s even possible now for one person to take her out in the car on their own.”
River Island’s Chapel Street store manager Natalie Dyer said: “The staff really got behind the fundraising activities for Newlife – it shows the camaraderie and work ethic at the store. We organised cake sales and staff donated a prize for a ‘guess the number of sweets in the jar’ competition for customers; we also dressed up and had a bucket collection. It was really lovely and it has been a real pleasure raising the funds for Newlife, a charity which River Island has been associated with for many years. And it’s a real boost to the staff to know how their efforts are directly benefitting a local disabled child.”
Newlife provided the harness through its Equipment Grants service. The charity also works with families to offer Emergency Equipment Loans, often within 72 hours of an application being made, a Play Therapy Pod service for those with complex needs and Comfort Capsules so families of terminally ill children can make memories together.
Newlife has supported 608 disabled and terminally ill children across Merseyside, with equipment totalling £556,885. If you would like to find out more about how the charity helps local families, go to: www.newlifecharity.co.uk/merseyside
Newlife guarantees that 100 per cent of monies donated or fundraised in Merseyside will be used to specifically help local children with disabilities and terminal illness.
Pictured: Lucy Taylor