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Four-year-old Zachary Thropp is getting the specialist equipment he needs to ensure he is sitting comfortably and safely, thanks to fabulous fundraisers at Central England Co-operative.

Zachary, from Grassmoor in Chesterfield, has congenital hydrocephalus along with ten other conditions, and has no independent mobility. His head and body have a tendency to slump to one side, which makes it difficult to position and keep him comfortable.

For the last three years Zachary has been using specialist supportive seating supplied by Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children, but he has outgrown this. With no funding available through local statutory services for a larger replacement, the family turned once again to Newlife for help.

Newlife is the UK’s largest charity provider of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness. For the past three years, it has been the staff-elected charity of Central England Co-operative. Colleagues and customers have raised more than £950,000 for the charity, helping to fund equipment for 432 children in the retailer’s trading area.

Zachary’s mum Samantha Bates said: “Zachary has hypotonia which means he has no muscle tone therefore he needs a moulded seat to enable him to sit safely and comfortably. Since Zachary was gifted his original P-Pod in 2012 he has had four re-moulds but continued to use this seat.

“At home he currently uses a structured/hard wheelchair which is the same as the one he has at his nursery. Zachary has nowhere comfortable to relax or sit, which is where the P-Pod comes in. At present if Zachary wants to chill out he has to lay on the floor, which is not ideal long term. He cannot sit on our settee as he can easily slide and fall off.

“The new P-Pod chair will have a seat specially moulded to Zachary’s needs – just like his wheelchair – to keep him in an upright position and help prevent further health problems.”

Gary Bonsall, Manager of the Central England Co-operative convenience store in Hasland, Chesterfield, said: “As a regional retailer we always ensure that our staff-elected charity supports people in need in our trading area. We are delighted to have been able to help Zachary and his family in this way.”

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 – 0800 902 0095 (free from UK landlines and mobiles) – or go to:

Pictured: Zachary Thropp