Four-year-old Jessica Povey from Whiteley near Fareham is able to get to her many medical appointments in comfort and safety – thanks to the support of fabulous local fundraisers.
Jessica has Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy, which affects her mobility and muscle tone. She should be posturally supported at all times – to help prevent further health problems developing – but her standard car seat didn’t meet her needs.
Mum Kerry Povey said: “Jessica is unable to get in and out of the car by herself and once she is in the vehicle she needs additional support to prevent her from slumping sideways or flopping forwards, which could cause further problems. Jessica is currently doing better than it was ever thought possible, and it is important we do everything we can to support and develop her potential.”
With the specialist car seat she needs – which has additional head and lateral supports, a five-point harness to keep her safely positioned and a swivel base so it is easier for her parents to get her in and out – costing £2,175, and no funding available from statutory services, the Poveys turned to Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children for help.
Newlife is the UK’s largest charity provider of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness and has helped 460 under-19s in Hampshire with equipment totalling £698,213.
With the support of fabulous fundraisers at Salesian College in Farnborough, Newlife has now provided the car seat.
Salesian College pupils and parents raised £1,626 through a sponsored walk, run and cycle ride along part of the North Downs Way, as well as a Christmas jumper day. Scott Gore, head of the college’s Upper School said: “Supporting children such as Jessica is very much at the heart of our special Salesian ethos. The students, parents and staff who took part in the event are delighted that the money raised has helped the Povey family in this way”.
Kerry Povey added: “We are very grateful to everyone who took part in the sponsored event for their efforts in raising money to support Newlife – and Jessica.”
The independent Roman Catholic School was originally inspired to fundraise for Newlife after reading about how the charity was supporting local teenager Liam Nazer, who needed a new hi-tech wheelchair. He received his equipment last month (March).
To find out more about how Newlife supports children with disabilities and terminal illness in the county, go to: www.newlifecharity.co.uk/hampshire. If you think you could help a local child, go to the website and donate. Alternatively, contact the Newlife County Liaison Team on 01543 431 444, email [email protected].
Right now, Newlife is working with the families of a further 13 children in the county, with equipment needs totalling £15,493. Every penny donated or fundraised in Hampshire will be used to provide equipment for local children.
PICTURED: JESSICA POVEY