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Parents of a three-year-old Rugeley girl with Autism, Anxiety, Sensory Processing Disorder and behavioural issues were at a loss trying to get a desperately needed specialist car seat.

Statutory funding was not available, so the family turned to Cannock-based Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children for help.

The new equipment has made a world of difference as Ruby Passey’s former seat was unsafe allowing her to crawl out with potential hazards to the three-year-old and the driver. Now Ruby is able to attend all appointments, access education, social and leisure opportunities.

“The size of the seat means it is heavy and keeps Ruby in without escape,” explained mum, Nicola Passey. “I really struggled with the previous seat.”

Mrs Passey revealed she went through a difficult period trying to find the much needed seat but as soon as Newlife became involved life became so much easier.

She added: “Everyone at Newlife has been fantastic – it is easy to talk to everyone there.

“I would never be able to afford the seat and they are impossible to get. The only one I have seen is in the USA.”

Ruby has also been given a specialist buggy which will improve her quality of life as she will be able to get out and about more in the local community.

The two pieces of equipment cost £1,051 and were funded by a partnership between Central England Co-operative and Newlife Foundation.

Since the partnership was launched in 2012, Central England Co-operative colleagues and customers have raised £835,801 which – to date – has funded specialist equipment for 342 children with disabilities and terminal illness in their trading area. And with the partnership recently extended until January 2016, dozens more families will benefit.

Matt Allwood, Manager of the Central England Co-operative food store, Queensway, Rugeley said: “As a regional retailer we always ensure that our staff-elected charity supports people in need in our trading area. We are delighted to be able to help Ruby and her family in this way.”

For full details of Newlife Foundation’s range of practical support for children with disabilities and terminal illness and their families, call the Newlife Nurse Helpline – 0800 902 0095 (free from UK landlines) – or go to:

Pictured: Ruby Passey