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TOM’S NOW ABLE TO EXPERIENCE THE GREAT OUTDOORS

A ten-year-old Holywell boy can now experience the outdoors safely and easily thanks to a specialised all-terrain buggy.

Tom Hughes has learning difficulties, he can crawl and cruise along furniture, but has no awareness of danger and doesn’t speak. He needs stimulation and when his parents tried to take him outdoors in his old buggy he was at risk of tipping and they were unable to push Tom over uneven surfaces.

The all-terrain buggy is much easier and lighter for Thomas’s family to manage than the old one and, as it has shock absorbing qualities, it won’t shake about on the rough ground so journeys are safer.

“We couldn’t take Tom too many places,” said Tom’s mum Suzanne. “The small wheels would not work on many surfaces and we could not get out to many places as a family.

“He felt very restricted and we wanted to do as many normal things as possible.

“The Delichon Delta buggy has made such a big difference to Tom and the whole family, it has enabled us to take Tom outdoors safely and easily and Tom just loves being outdoors and out and about,” Suzanne added.

“We had got to the stage where it was not possible to take Tom anywhere where the surface was more or less, less than perfect. But not anymore – Tom has now been on family country walks and foreshore walks – he has a new lease of life.”

Funding for the specialist buggy could not be found and the Hughes family turned to national charity Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children for the £2,176 purchase. Thanks to Newlife’s partnership with The Morgan Foundation, the vital equipment was delivered promptly.

The Morgan Foundation is working with Newlife to ensure more children with disabilities or terminal illness get the right equipment at the right time. This includes wheelchairs, buggies and walkers for mobility, specialist car seats and beds for safety and a range of other disability equipment including communication aids, walking frames, portable hoists and seating systems.

A Morgan Foundation fundraising golf day and gala dinner in support of Newlife held last year raised £450,000 to provide vital specialist equipment specifically for families across North Wales, Merseyside, West Cheshire, North Shropshire and parts of the West Midlands.

Steve Morgan, chairman of The Morgan Foundation, said: “Having a vital aid like this means Tom can get around in comfort and makes life for the family easier.

“Everyone who took part in our golf day or attended the gala dinner has helped – and will continue to help – make a real difference.”

Newlife Foundation for Children with Disabilities or terminal illness is a national charity which works extensively with families across the region and has funded over £13.5million of disability equipment for under-19s in the UK since 2005. A total of £56,970 of this has been in Flintshire.

Newlife CEO Sheila Brown added: “As local authority budget cuts continue to bite, more and more families are turning to charities like Newlife so their children can get vital equipment for everyday life. Having the support of The Morgan Foundation is an enormous boost for Newlife.

“We look forward to helping to transform more lives across The Morgan Foundation catchment area. Anyone struggling to access equipment through their statutory services should call our Newlife Nurse Helpline to discuss their individual situation.”

For further information about The Morgan Foundation visit the website, www.morganfoundation.co.uk or call 01829 782800.

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 0800 902 0095 (free from UK mobiles and landlines) or go to www.newlifecharity.co.uk.

Pictured: Tom Hughes

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