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Celebrating Newlife Foundation and Central England Co-operative’s charity partnership topping £500,000 is Birmingham mum Michelle Poole.

Michelle lives with her two young sons in Kings Heath; the youngest – Stacie, aged six – has just received a new lightweight wheelchair, thanks to the fabulous fundraising efforts of Central England Co-operative colleagues and customers.

Stacie was born with a congenital abnormality which resulted in heart surgery. He receives oxygen therapy, breathing via a tracheotomy tube, and is fed by another tube in his stomach.

Michelle said: “I am only 5ft 1in and Stacie’s previous wheelchair was bigger than me. We live at the bottom of a hill and as Stacie is growing up it was getting harder and harder to push him and his oxygen cylinder, suction machine and emergency tracheotomy box, so we were increasingly stuck in the house.

“Getting this specialist lightweight wheelchair is brilliant, not only for Stacie and me but also for his seven-year-old brother Jacob who got bored being at home so much. Now we’ve got the new wheelchair there’s no stopping us – we’re never at home now!

“She added: “I don’t drive so I rely on Stacie’s nan or public transport. With Stacie’s previous wheelchair, because it was so heavy, I had to jump onto the back of it to tip it up to get it on the bus. With the new wheelchair I am able to move it one-handed, so I can hold on to Jacob at the same time.”

Michelle added: “The new wheelchair comes with special supports to keep him comfortable and properly position, which is important because he has started to develop scoliosis.”

Unable to secure the equipment from her local statutory services, Michelle contacted Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children for funding of the £3,504 wheelchair. Newlife’s partnership with Central England Co-operative has resulted in provision of 79 pieces of specialist disability equipment for children in the West Midlands (a total of 251 across the retailer’s trading area).

Central England Co-operative president Maria Lee added: “We are absolutely delighted to have been able to help so many disabled children in the Midlands region. I would like to personally thank all of our colleagues, members and customers who have helped us to transform so many young lives.”

For full details of Newlife Foundation’s range of practical support for disabled and terminally ill children and their families, call the Newlife Nurse Helpline – freephone 0800 902 0095 – or go to:

Pictured: Central England Co-operative President Maria Lee (right) with Newlife Lead Nurse Karen Dobson (left) and mum and son Michelle and Stacie Poole from Kings Heath (with his new wheelchair).