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A teenager who is the size of a four-year-old is getting the help he needs so he can sleep in safety when he stays with his doting dad.

Angus Palmes has complex sensory needs which can lead to him self-injuring. He has split open his face several times – and only a specialist sleeping environment at his home in Macclesfield keeps him safe through the night.

However, Angus, aged 13, spends a handful of nights each month with his dad and a further two or three in respite care – where he doesn’t have the same safety equipment, putting him at risk of harm.

Mum Tandy Palmes says: “Angus is very small – he’s in age three to four clothes – and has been sleeping in a travel cot when he’s away. But he is still able to bang his head on the frame and rock the cot across the room. This means that when Angus comes back he is really tired because he hasn’t slept properly.”

Now a partnership between Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children and Marks and Spencer is providing Angus with the additional £2,200 portable safety sleeper he needs.

Tandy said: “Angus is quite a cheerful boy, especially when he has had enough sleep. That’s despite the fact that he has had to undergo cardiac surgery, a fundoplication (gastric surgical procedure) and has a gastrostomy tube fitted to help feed him. He gets sensory feedback from banging his head so it is really important he is in a soft environment. This equipment will really improve Angus’s quality of life and give his dad, myself and those who care for him outside of the home peace of mind knowing he is safe.”

Newlife is the largest UK charity providing specialist equipment and has supported 464 disabled and terminally ill children in Cheshire.

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 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 over 260 pieces of essential equipment, totalling in excess of £850,000 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.”

Right now, Newlife is currently working with another 16 families in Cheshire with equipment needs totalling £15,794. To find out how you could help a child near you, go to: Alternatively, contact the Newlife Supporter Relations Team on 01543 462777 or email

Newlife Head of Operations Stephen Morgan added: “The UK has more disabled children than ever before – and our partnership with M&S benefits hundreds of children. It’s an outrage that families have to ‘battle’ local services and yet still face heart-breaking refusals. The support of organisations like M&S means we can change lives across the UK every day.”

Newlife guarantees that 100 per cent of monies donated or fundraised in Cheshire will be used to specifically help children with disabilities and terminal illness in the area.

Pictured: Angus Palmes