“Battling for equipment and support is something many families of children with disabilities or terminal illness know all too well” – Stephen Morgan, Newlife Foundation Main Head of Operations.
Families with children who have disabilities or terminal illness across the UK are battling to get the essential equipment they need for everyday life, often having to wait for 12 months or more for help from statutory services who have had their own budgets slashed because of austerity measures.
Newlife believes that it doesn’t have to be that way. Together we can make life better for children with disabilities and terminal illness.
Equipment can change children’s lives, it can keep them safe, relieve pain, help them to be more independent and overcome challenges. For instance, you could help a child be discharged from hospital, take their first steps or kick a football with their friends.
Harrison Oldrey from Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire is just one of many children in the UK who currently needs help so he can have a special buggy, costing just under £1,000.
Six-year-old Harrison has a developmental problem and a learning disability, which means he also has floppy weak muscles and his joints move beyond the usual range, so although he can walk, he struggles to walk any distance.
His parents Sarah and Tom have been taking him out in a high street buggy, but he is too big for this now and they now face being very restricted as to where they can take Harrison and his three-year-old sister Leah, especially as statutory services say he’s not eligible to receive a buggy from wheelchair services because he can walk indoors.
This means no day trips out or holidays for the family; no trips to the park or walks in the local countryside. Even simple trip to the supermarket as a family isn’t possible as Harrison is too tall for the seat in the supermarket trolley.
Mum Sarah said: “If we had a buggy we wouldn’t have to worry about going out – we could go anywhere. We could take the children for trips out, do lots of different things, but without it there aren’t many places we can go, so the children won’t be having much fun this summer.”
Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children is the UK’s largest charity provider of children’s specialist disability equipment, funding £203,854 of grants in Warwickshire – ranging from powered wheelchairs to special beds, but we need your help to continue to do this so we can help children like Harrison. That’s why the charity launched the Newlife Warwickshire fund – www.newlifecharity.co.uk/warwickshire.
A simple click on the ‘Donate’ button at www.newlifecharity.co.uk/warwickshire is all it takes to help ease a child’s pain, keep them safe or prevent their condition worsening, but if you would like to become more involved there are plenty of ways you can raise vital funds – and Newlife guarantees 100% of any donation or fundraising will be used to help children in your county.
Stephen Morgan, Newlife Foundation Main Head of Operations said: “We want to ensure no child has to go without the equipment they need to make their life better; no child should suffer because of a lack of equipment – but to achieve that we need your help. Newlife has seen a 25 per cent increase in applications this year compared to last year and has no budget at this time to help meet the needs of eight children currently waiting in Warwickshire – but you could help us change that.”
Pictured: Harrison Oldrey