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SIMPLE PIECE OF SPECIALIST EQUIPMENT MEANS THREE-YEAR-OLD CAN TRAVEL IN SAFETY

Three-year-old Leah Talman 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.

Leah, from Claydon near Ipswich in Suffolk, has Global Developmental Delay. With poor balance, travelling has become a problem because Leah has outgrown her standard child car seat and a booster does not provide the level of support and safety needed.

Mum Danielle Talman said: “Because of her balance problem, at the moment if Leah falls asleep or we go round corners she slumps forward or sideways out of the seat and isn’t able to pull herself back up. Obviously this isn’t at all safe for Leah so we have been keeping car journeys to a minimum.”

The family needs a specialist car seat with five-point harness and additional supports and padding so Leah will remain in a safe position while travelling. The seat also has a swivel base which will help them get her in and out of the car more easily, especially as she is large for her age. Danielle added: “Leah is becoming harder to lift in and out of the car because she is so heavy, so the swivel base feature of the seat will be a huge help as she gets older.”

With the equipment costing £2,942 and no funding available through statutory services, the family turned for help to 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 and Marks & Spencer is now providing the equipment.

M&S has worked in partnership with Newlife Foundation for the last 11 years, donating returned products to the charity to be resold or recycled. The majority of the donated products are sold in the Newlife SuperStore in Staffordshire, 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 more than 200 pieces of essential equipment, totalling in excess of £600,000 for children with disabilities and terminal illness across the UK.

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.”

Pictured: Leah Talman

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