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A Norwich teen with Autism and learning difficulties is forced to sleep in a specialist bed that’s so small his feet hang off the end. Just £774 would give him a new, larger version, but the local authority don’t fund the type of bed he needs.

Despite being 5ft 10ins and 16 stone, 17-year-old Callum Steel has the mental age of toddler. Unaware of his own strength he needs a specialist bed, that’s unbreakable, to keep him safe and comfortable.

Callum doesn’t speak, has no awareness of danger and eats anything, including bugs. He has recently begun having seizures too.

The specialist bed Callum has now grown out of was provided by Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children. The charity is now urging the local community to help raise the £774 needed to buy the larger one so Callum can sleep in comfort and safety for many years to come.

Mum Carla said: “Callum can’t move at all in his current bed, it’s far too short and narrow. I’m really worried that if he has a seizure he could fall and badly hurt himself.

“He must be very uncomfortable at night, but has no way of telling us. A standard bed isn’t an option as he easily breaks the sides and slats which he could then hurt himself on.

“Callum doesn’t mean to break them, but we went through so many beds before Newlife helped us. The bed they provided has stood up to so much, but he has completely outgrown it.

“Nothing escapes Callum’s heavy handedness and the family sofas are broken on a regular basis as he lands so heavily he goes right through the back. We just buy second hand sofas now, but we can’t afford to keep buying Callum beds all the time, it’s not possible.”

Newlife’s Senior Manager for Care Services, Carrick Brown, said: “Callum shouldn’t have to sleep in a bed that’s too small for him just because he needs a specialist version for his own safety.

“Unfortunately, while we desperately want to help Callum, we simply don’t have the funds available. This is why we’re calling on members of the local community to get involved to raise the £774 needed that will make such a big difference to Callum and his family for many years to come.”

Callum is just one of 31 children in the East of England on our waiting list and in desperate need of specialist disability equipment costing a total of £77,853 so every penny we raise is vital.

Anyone able to help Callum should urgently contact Newlife on 01543 431444, visit the website at or email You can also text NEWLIFE CALLUM to 70500 to give £10 to Callum’s appeal. Newlife will receive 100% of your donation. Texts cost £10 plus 1 message at your standard network rate. Always get the bill payers permission.

STOP PRESS: Thanks to a great community effort and lots of media support we have now raised enough money for Callum’s specialist bed.  However, you can still donate to help the other 28 children on our waiting list in the East of England who need £64,079 of specialist equipment.  If you are able to help please call 01543 431 444  or email