Eleven-year-old Haydn Weymes from Crawcrook has profound learning and physical disabilities and his mobility restrictions mean he often misses out on family fun.
However, a simple piece of specialist equipment could put an end to this, so he can join in more family activities.
Haydn has no independent mobility and wears a back brace to support his scoliosis. He is fed via a tube in his stomach and does not sleep well. Despite all this, he is a happy boy and his mum, dad and two sisters would all like to do more fun things together – as a family.
Haydn has a wheelchair provided by local statutory services, but this is difficult to push over anything except flat surfaces. This means, for instance, that he can’t join in local riverside and woodland walks with the family; either mum Alyson or dad Richard stays behind with Haydn while the other goes out with his sisters Jess and Olivia.
Alyson said: “Anywhere that involves grass or dirt paths is more or less out of bounds to Haydn in his wheelchair.”
What they need is a specialist buggy, designed for older children with mobility needs like Haydn. The all-terrain equipment will open up a wide range of new opportunities. The buggy comes with weather proofing, so he can be wrapped up warm and snug to go out whatever the time of year.
Alyson said: “It is really important – not only for Haydn but for his sisters too – that we do more things together as a complete family and not always be dividing into two groups, with Haydn missing out.”
The equipment – which offers postural support and safety features to meet Haydn’s complex needs – costs £1,990, but there is no funding available through local statutory services. So the family turned to leading UK children’s disability charity Newlife Foundation for help.
Newlife has funded 79 equipment grants for children in Tyne and Wear, totalling £136,249, including one for a specialist car seat for Haydn.
However, as statutory cuts continue all around the UK, Newlife is seeing a surge in demand for its range of equipment provision services. In 2013/14 alone, a 33 per cent increase in Equipment Grants awarded saw Newlife invest £2,088,105 in specialist provision for more than 1,300 children around the UK.
So Newlife is calling on ‘local heroes’ to donate or fundraise to help disabled children in Tyne and Wear. If you would like to help fund the specialist buggy for Haydn and his family, the Newlife Community Fundraising team can be contacted on 0800 988 4640 (free from UK landlines) or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Newlife guarantees that 100 per cent of all monies donated or fundraised will be used to provide the equipment for Haydn, with any surplus being used to support another child in Tyne and Wear. Haydn’s is one of five families in the metropolitan county currently working with Newlife; their equipment needs total £13,062.
ictured: Haydn Weymes