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SPECIALIST SEAT TO KEEP SOPHIE SAFE

A simple piece of specialist equipment will mean six-year-old Sophie Frosdick can relax at home in comfort – and, above all, safety.

Sophie, from Great Yarmouth, has Cerebral Palsy as well as a diagnosis of autism and learning disabilities. She uses a wheelchair for mobility, but when she gets home from school like any child she likes to sit in a comfortable chair and relax. At the moment that’s the family sofa, but this doesn’t provide appropriate postural support and she is at risk of falling off onto the floor.

A specialist PPod chair would provide increased comfort, keep her in a symmetrical position thus reducing the risk of deformity, and a harness would ensure she couldn’t fall out.

Mum Sonya Frosdick said: “Sophie has been able to trial one of these seats – and I have never seen her smile so much before; she looked so happy and comfortable.

“It was Sophie’s occupational therapist who recommended a PPod to help her posture because her reduced muscle control means she can’t keep herself upright. We have struggled for so long now – we need peace of mind knowing that she is comfortable and safe.

“At the moment, when Sophie is poorly she lays on the sofa because she won’t be upstairs by herself. We’re a family of seven which means there’s nowhere for the other children so they have to sit on the floor.”

With no statutory services funding available for this type of seating, which costs £660, Sophie’s family has turned to leading UK children’s disability charity Newlife Foundation for help.

Last year Newlife funded £2,088,105 of specialist equipment for disabled and terminally ill children in the UK – total funding in Norfolk currently stands at £142,943 for 101 Equipment Grants.

However, increased demands on the charity’s resources means Newlife is appealing to ‘local heroes’ to come forward to donate or fundraise to help Sophie.

Newlife CEO Sheila Brown, OBE, said: “As cutbacks continue to bite into local authority budgets we can expect to see applications for equipment continue to rise. As a charity we are looking increasingly to ‘local heroes’ to help us help children in individual counties – and Newlife guarantees that 100 per cent of all monies donated or fundraised in Norfolk can be ring-fenced to specifically provide equipment for disabled and terminally ill children within the county.”

If you would like to donate or raise money to help fund the specialist seating for Sophie, the Newlife Community Fundraising Team can be contacted on freephone 0800 988 4640. Any individual or organisation thinking of running a fundraising event is asked to contact the team, who can offer support and guidance.

Any monies collected surplus to requirements for Sophie would be used to provide specialist equipment for another disabled or terminally ill child in Norfolk.

If you would like to find out more about Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children and how to access its services, call the Newlife Nurse Helpline on freephone 0800 902 0095 or go to www.newlifecharity.co.uk.

Pictured: Sophie Frosdick.

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