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Sleepovers with grandparents and breaks away with the family are something many children eagerly look forward to. But this hasn’t been possible for eight-year-old Ryan Boyne, from Wednesbury, because his disability means he has to be hoisted in and out of his wheelchair whenever he needs to go to the toilet, have a bath or go to bed.

There is a ceiling track hoist in their home, but until now Ryan’s family have been very limited to where and for how long they can take him out and about.

But that’s all about to change thanks to the Axis Foundation, the charitable arm of Axis Europe* which is a property services company currently working on a major project in Sandwell borough. The Axis Foundation has donated £3,919 which will help transform the lives of two children; £1,020 will provide the mobile hoist for Ryan and the remaining £2,899 will fund a specialist bed for a seven-year-old in the borough who has a genetic disorder that affects the nervous system.

Ryan’s mum Victoria Barnes said: “Having a portable hoist that we can put in the boot of the car and take with us wherever we want to go will make a huge difference to Ryan’s life. He hasn’t been able to stay with his grandparents for several years because of the manual handling issues. Now we have a six-week-old baby too and the grandparents are already talking about having her over to stay – but we don’t want Ryan to think that he can’t go as well and will be missing out on special time together.”

The portable hoist will be in regular use, including around the home. Victoria said: “There are endless possibilities. Ryan has never been able to play in a paddling pool in the garden – but this summer, now we’re getting the portable hoist, he will be able to experience this simple pleasure. We will be able to be more adventurous about where we go for days out with Ryan and even consider a family holiday.”

With no funding available from statutory services for a portable hoist, Ryan’s health worker advised the family to apply to Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children for help. Newlife, which is based in Cannock, is the UK’s largest charity provider of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness.

With the support of the Axis Foundation, Newlife is providing the portable hoist through an Equipment Grant. Victoria added: “We would like to say a huge thank you to Axis Europe for their support of Newlife and our family – this will make a big difference.”

Newlife also provides an emergency equipment loan service for life-limited and terminally ill children and those sleeping in unsafe environments, aiming to deliver and install within 72 hours. In addition, Newlife offers loans of specialist sensory toys to help children with their development.

Newlife Head of Operations Stephen Morgan said: “With local authority budgets getting tighter, more and more families are turning to charities like Newlife. Having the support of businesses like Axis Europe and the Axis Foundation is an enormous boost for us and they are helping to transform the lives of children in the communities where they operate.”

Peter Varney, Chairman of the Axis Foundation, said: “All of us involved in the Axis Foundation want to make donations which have a profound effect on the lives of individuals less fortunate than ourselves. The use of the funding we have given to the wonderful Newlife demonstrates how important and life changing our support can be and we are delighted to have made a difference in this case and support such an essential cause.”

Newlife has funded £1,298,631 of specialist equipment for 1,233 disabled and terminally ill children in the West Midlands. If you would like to know more about the families we support and how you can help, go to Newlife is currently working with a further 111 families in the county with equipment needs totalling £40,096. The website includes contact details for the Newlife County Liaison Team – 01543 431 444 or email

The charity guarantees that 100 per cent of all money donated to the Newlife West Midlands Fund will be spent on specialist equipment for children in the county.

*Axis Europe is currently working on a three-year contract for Sandwell Council, helping to repair and maintain the 29,000 housing stock in the north of the borough – Wednesbury, Tipton and West Bromwich.

Pictured: Ryan Boyne