Two-year-old Caleb Hatfield will be out and about visiting friends and family in comfort and safety this Christmas, thanks to the ‘fantastic plastic’ initiative at River Island fashion stores.
When you are asked to pay five pence for a carrier bag in a shop have you ever wondered what happens to the money? Well, in the case of River Island outlets – like the one at the Parkgate Shopping Park in Rotherham – profits from sales of carrier bags are donated to national charity Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children.
Newlife is the UK’s largest charity provider of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness.
Caleb, from the Rawmarsh area of Rotherham, is one of more than 140 children to benefit from this life-changing nationwide initiative. He has been provided with a specialist car seat, at a cost of £964.
Caleb has a congenital disorder; he has limited mobility, is oxygen dependent and fed through a tube in his stomach. Mum Rosie Hatfield said: “He is three in February but had already outgrown a standard car seat for children up to the age of four – he has a long body. He was uncomfortable because he was crunched up in the old seat, and it didn’t support his postural needs.”
It is vital that Caleb is properly seated to reduce the onset of further health problems. Rosie added: “The new seat is much better for him – he can sit up straight and his head is now supported, which helps with his breathing. That’s particularly important at this time of year because he gets a lot of congestion and sitting properly means he is less likely to choke. The seat also has a five-point harness so he can’t slip down or get his arms out of the safety straps. It is a godsend!”
Newlife Foundation CEO Sheila Brown added: “As local authority budget cuts continue to bite, more and more families are turning to charities like Newlife for specialist equipment which can help transform young lives. Having the national support of River Island is an enormous boost for us.”
She added: “Anyone struggling to access equipment through their statutory services should call our Newlife Nurse Helpline – 0800 902 0095 (free from UK landlines and mobiles) to discuss their individual situation.”
If you would like to find out more about Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children’s range of practical support services go to www.newlifecharity.co.uk.
Newlife has funded specialist equipment for 393 children in South Yorkshire, at a cost of £361,357. If you think you could help a local child, go to www.newlifecharity.co.uk/southyorkshire for further details.
Pictured: Caleb Hatfield