Take part in the Southampton Big Fun Run on Sunday 27 July and raise money to help children like local six-year-old Advay Bhandari.
Advay, who lives in Southampton, has developmental and learning disabilities and seizures. He is unable to walk but can roll; however, he has no awareness of danger and needs constant supervision. Advay wears a special helmet to protect his head to help keep him safe.
Mum Anchal Bisht said: “Because of his condition, Advay was sleeping on the floor for safety, but even then he was able to roll off the mattress and bang his head on the floor. Sometimes he would cut his lips and even though he has the helmet he could still hurt himself.”
Anchal and her husband desperately needed a specialist bed, but local statutory services do not provide this equipment for non-medical needs. So the family turned to leading UK children’s disability charity Newlife Foundation for help. The charity had already supported the family by providing a specialist car seat for Advay and the call to the Newlife Nurse Helpline – freephone 0800 902 0095 – resulted in delivery of a high sided, fully padded specialist bed to prevent further injuries.
Anchal said: “Before we had the bed, leaving Advay on his own for even a few minutes risked injury. It was very stressful for both Advay and the rest of the family. Now I know that when he is in his bed he is safe. It means peace of mind for us. It is a big space so the bed can double up as a safe play area.”
She added: “I think Newlife is doing a good job in providing specialist equipment for disabled children.”
Advay’s bed cost more than £3,000 – and is one of 257 Equipment Grants totalling £462,387 that have been awarded to disabled and terminally ill children in Hampshire since 2005. Across the UK, Newlife Equipment Grants expenditure stands at more than £11million.
Newlife CEO Sheila Brown, OBE, said: “With statutory services across the UK implementing continued budget cuts, we expect to see more and more families turn to Newlife Foundation for help. That’s why we’re appealing for ‘local heroes’ to come forward and donate or fundraise to help a disabled or terminally ill child in their county.”
If you have already signed up to the Southampton Big Fun Run and would like to raise money for Newlife – or Advay’s story has inspired you to now give it a go, call the Newlife Community Fundraising Team on freephone 0800 988 4640 or email [email protected].
Sheila added: “Every penny that people donate goes directly to funding vital equipment. This could be a wheelchair or buggy for mobility, a specialist bed or car seat to keep a child safe or a communication aid so they can tell their parents when they are hungry or in pain. And you can ring-fence your fundraising or donation to be spent in the county of your choosing.”
To find out more about the range of equipment grant and loan support services offered by the charity, call the Newlife Nurse Helpline on freephone 0800 902 0095 or email [email protected]. Pictured: Advay Bhandari
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