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WHEELCHAIR REFUSAL CURBS RISING STAR’S CLIMB

A disabled six-year-old girl from Monmouth is being held back from reaching her full potential, missing out on time with her friends and is not able to take part in the activities she loves due to a lack of the right kind of essential equipment.

Imogen Ashwell-Lewis is a talented horse rider with ambitions of being a dressage Paralympian – she’s already won a first place rosette in a national competition. But her powered wheelchair means she is unable to get close to the animals she loves so much. Newlife, the Charity for Disabled Children needs your help to raise £3,213 for a self propelling wheelchair that will allow Imogen access to a world of new opportunities.

Imogen has Cerebral Palsy that affects both sides of her body – she struggles with her mobility so needs a wheelchair to get around and relies on adult support. But she is a bright girl and refuses to let her disability hold her back – as well as horse riding, Imogen also plays tennis and has a good group of friends that she loves spending time with.

Mum Catherine said: “Imogen has a powered chair which she uses when she is at school because she gets very tired. But it is quite high up so she feels very far away from people – she can’t be physically close to her friends. It’s very difficult for her to get around the house with it as well because it is so big – in the night when she gets up to go to the toilet, she has to crawl because there isn’t enough room for the chair.”

Catherine said: “Before I had a disabled child I presumed that they would get everything they could possibly need – the reality could not be further from this. I didn’t believe it could be so bad – to have to battle for the basic equipment my daughter needs and to have to turn to charities for help.”

Imogen was provided with a manual chair at the age of two – but she has considerably outgrown it and statutory services will not replace it. If she is in a situation where she absolutely cannot use her powered chair, Imogen’s mum will push her in a buggy that she has hugely outgrown and as a switched-on six-year-old, finds mortifyingly embarrassing.

Newlife would like to help Imogen get her wheelchair but must to raise the money needed to fund it.

Stephen Morgan, Head of Charity Operations at Newlife said: “At Newlife we concentrate on the things that disabled children can do, rather than what they can’t. But the key to unlocking their full potential is the right equipment at the right time. We are calling on companies, groups and individuals locally to be a hero and donate to help Imogen get the wheelchair she needs so she can shine.”

Newlife has already supported 7 children in Monmouthshire, providing equipment worth £7,798. Any funds raised above what is needed to help Imogen will be used to help another child in the county.

If you can help Imogen, please go to www.newlifecharity.co.uk/monmouthshire or email [email protected] Telephone donations can be made by calling 01543 462777.

We work together every day to make a difference and create a better future for disabled children.

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