Three-year-old Rosie Williams will soon be travelling in safety thanks to the donation of a specialist car seat from Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children, working in partnership with retail giant Marks and Spencer.
Rosie, from Llantrisant in Rhondda Cynon Taf, has Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy and Hydrocephalus, which means she needs to be appropriately positioned at all times because she has uneven tone in her limbs.
Travelling has become a problem because a standard child car seat does not provide the level of support and safety needed to help prevent further health issues.
Mum Charlotte Williams said: “As Rosie gets older, her head control is deteriorating. The problem we have at the moment is when she falls asleep her head falls forward, which could block her airway, and her Occupational Therapist (OT) recommended a specialist car seat to reduce the risk of this happening.
“Rosie trialled the model most suited to her needs – and she was so comfortable. It has additional head and side supports and a five-point harness to keep her in position so even if we brake, go over speed bumps or she falls asleep she will be safe. The car seat also has a swivel base which will help us get her in and out of the car more easily.”
Charlotte added: “It was a shock to discover how much the car seat would cost, and our OT suggested we contact Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children.”
Newlife is the UK’s largest charity provider of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness
A partnership between Newlife Foundation and Marks & Spencer is now providing the £2,655 car seat.
Charlotte added: “Knowing we will soon be getting the seating Rosie needs is amazing. We have been keeping journeys to a minimum because of the current situation – once we have the new car seat we will be able to take Rosie out and about more and even plan a visit to see her uncle in Germany.”
M&S has worked in partnership with Newlife since 2006 as part of its Plan A commitments, donating returned products and clothing samples that cannot be sold, to the charity to be resold or recycled. The majority of the donated products are sold in the Newlife SuperStore in Cannock and the charity recycles the remaining items, all to raise money for children with disabilities. In October 2010, M&S launched a grants scheme, which has specifically helped fund over 200 pieces of essential equipment, totalling £630,000 for disabled children in local communities across the UK.
Jacquie Leonard, Community Programme Manager at Marks & Spencer, said: “Our partnership with Newlife is not only great for the environment but it also helps to improve the lives of disabled children by providing much-needed specialist equipment. We are delighted to be able to support such a vital charity.”
Sheila Brown OBE, chief executive of Newlife Foundation, added: “Our partnership with M&S benefits hundreds of children and their families. It is very encouraging to see the efforts of M&S in helping to improve the lives of disabled and terminally ill children within the local community and across the UK. Equipment that costs hundreds to several thousands of pounds really can transform lives. We are very grateful to everyone involved and would encourage other groups and individuals to keep fundraising to help us make a difference.”
Newlife has helped provide £53,129 of equipment for 35 under-19s in Rhondda. Right now, the charity is currently working with another family in the county with equipment needs of £100.
To find out more about how Newlife supports families in Rhondda go to: www.newlifecharity.co.uk/rhonddacynontaf. The website includes contact details for the Newlife County Liaison Team – tel no 01543 431 444 or email firstname.lastname@example.org – and shows specific ways people can help support children with disability and terminal illness and their families in the county.
Newlife guarantees that 100 per cent of monies donated or fundraised in Rhondda will be used to specifically help children with disabilities and terminal illness in the county.
Pictured: Rosie Williams