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A leading children’s disability charity has stepped in to help a Kidderminster family, providing a specialist portable hoist so mum Julia Markova can take her ten-year-old daughter Arina on holiday this summer.

Arina, who is a pupil at Heronswood Primary School in Kidderminster, has Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a condition that causes muscle weakness and progressive loss of movement. She has a fixed ceiling hoist at home, but trips out are limited because Julia has no way of transferring Arina in and out of her wheelchair.

Julia said: “Hiring equipment like this can cost around £100 for four days, which means it isn’t viable for occasional days out and would mean a big additional expense for any holiday. Having a portable hoist of her own will open up a lot of new opportunities for Arina; like going to the park and sitting on a rug on the grass for a picnic with friends and family. Even places where there is provision of toilets for the disabled, they often don’t have a hoist to get people out of their wheelchairs.”

Julia added: “The new hoist will also mean we can go further afield, so Arina can see more of the world around her.”

The equipment was delivered to the family’s Kidderminster home on Monday (July 15) and mum and daughter are now looking forward to a summer break.

Julia was prompted to turn to Staffordshire-based Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children for help because of the cost of the portable hoist – £2,560.

Newlife has provided 100 Equipment Grants totalling £189,316 for children in Worcestershire, funding items like specialist beds and seating, wheelchairs and buggies, standing and walking frames, sensory and communication aids.

However, demand on Newlife resources has shot up as families of disabled and terminally ill children across the UK are hit by cutbacks within statutory services. Therefore, the charity is appealing for ‘local heroes’ to come forward to fundraise or donate towards the cost of equipment for children in their own counties. Newlife CEO Sheila Brown said: “Newlife guarantees that 100 per cent of any gift or donation can go directly to fund equipment for disabled and terminally ill children in Worcestershire.”

If you think you can help, 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.

Pictured: Arina Markova 

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