Four-year-old Haniya Malik, from Ward End in Birmingham, is travelling in safety and comfort, thanks to Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children and fabulous fundraisers at touring show Circus Starr.
Haniya has a complex condition including Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus; paralysed from the waist down and with developing scoliosis, it is important that she is appropriately positioned at all times.
Car journeys had become a major issue for the family, because Haniya had been using a standard car seat which she had outgrown. Mum Romana Naz said: “I tried not to travel in the car because Haniya’s seat was very uncomfortable for her and she told me her back hurt.”
Haniya was referred to a ‘car seat clinic’ in Birmingham, which recommended equipment costing £2,714. It has substantial head and side supports, a pommel so Haniya cannot slip down and a five-point harness to keep her secure. In addition, a recline feature makes it easier for her to sleep in the seat and its swivel base eases transfers in and out of the vehicle.
Romana added: “Haniya is really comfortable and happy in it. Having a specialist car seat makes a huge difference as we will be able to visit family and friends in other parts of the UK. Not having the right equipment for Haniya also impacted on her brother and sisters; if Haniya couldn’t travel then the whole family was affected.”
Haniya’s car seat is one of two pieces of specialist equipment that Circus Starr has helped to fund through Newlife Foundation, with a £3,500 donation following a successful tour of the UK.
Circus Starr is a not for profit organisation that supports children’s charities around the UK.
Founded in 1987, it also provides thousands of free tickets for disadvantaged, disabled and vulnerable children. Dozens of families supported by Newlife Foundation have enjoyed the fun of Circus Starr, which offers a relaxed environment for families of children with disabilities.
Circus Star Director Neville Wilson said: “Every Circus Starr tour is about creating better and more equal access for children whatever their needs or challenges. We’re delighted to say our Big Top shows in 2016 have been a huge hit bringing thrills and spills into the lives of countless young people and their families. It’s pleasing to hear that with local businesses’ support we were not only able to provide 28,000 free tickets but raise funds for some great causes, like Newlife. We’re absolutely delighted that our donation has helped Newlife to provide such an essential piece of equipment for Haniya so the whole family can get out and about making lots of new memories together.”
Newlife Operations Manager Stephen Morgan said: “Demand for our range of practical support services is growing as statutory services’ budgets are reduced. Last year (2015), Newlife supported 2,597 children around the UK through its range of equipment grant and loan services. Therefore, we are delighted to be working with organisations like Circus Starr. Together we can provide the equipment that really will change children’s lives.”
If you would like to find out more about Newlife’s work in the West Midlands, and how you can help, go to: www.newlifecharity.co.uk/westmidlands. The charity has provided £1,299,688 of equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness in the West Midlands alone, where it is currently working with another 120 families with combined needs totalling £46,441.
Circus Starr will soon be back in the West Midlands area:
Friday 13 May: Bednall Head Farm, Cannock Road, Bednall Head, Stafford.
Sunday 15 May: Castle Pleasure Grounds, Tamworth Castle, Ladybank, Tamworth.
Tuesday 14 June: Worcester Racecourse, Grandstand Road, Worcester.