Your help is needed to give a seven-year-old Stoke boy the opportunity to sit independently in comfort and safety in his own home.
William Mardling has a number of disorders that have caused development delays. He struggles to get around and is too large to be carried.
He has outgrown his chair and Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children are appealing to the people of Staffordshire to help provide a new specialist chair where William can relax in safety.
Experts have recommended a Rehanorm Bingen Gravity Chair so that William gets the support he needs. He struggles to sit upright without additional support at any time in his current chair and chronic fatigue often prevents him from sitting upright. He requires support transferring to a standing position.
A new specialist chair will mean William will be able to sit comfortably in the chair for tube feeding without the support of one of his parents, giving him independence.
The specialist chair will cost £1,029 and there are no grants available for the family so they have turned to Newlife who are looking to raise the funds for William’s new equipment in Staffordshire.
“This new chair will be shaped like a gaming chair and William can completely relax in it,” said mum Julie.
“He suffers from chronic fatigue and is not able to sit on the sofa and relax – one of us has to sit with him anyway.
“He will be able to watch TV, use the iPad and move around. The chair is very lightweight.
“Our Occupational Therapist recommended this type of chair and they got a representative to come out to see us so we could try it out, but the NHS could not fund it.
“The new chair will last quite a while and we will be happy knowing William is safe. He will be able to sit and relax after school.”
Newlife has helped 746 children in Staffordshire, just like William, through equipment grants and loans totalling over £933,000, so we know there is a very real county need.
That’s why Newlife – the largest charity funder of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness in the UK – recently launched the Newlife Staffordshire Fund – www.newlifecharity.co.uk/staffordshire. It is an opportunity for local people to help local disabled children and every penny donated or fundraised in Staffordshire is guaranteed to support families in the county.
In this way we aim to help more children, more quickly.
Special disability equipment including wheelchairs, walkers, beds, seating and communication aids can help give children independence, keep them safe, relieve pain 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. . .
Together we can really change the lives of children with disability and terminal illness – supporting them to experience and enjoy life and all that we take for granted.
Statutory services in Staffordshire often have a responsibility to make equipment provision – but when help is declined, Newlife steps in. The charity challenges many such decisions and has an impressive success rate. However, where we are unable to overturn these decisions, we would look to provide the equipment ourselves through our range of grant and loan services. We do this with the support of front-line health professionals across Staffordshire who have helped Newlife help local children in real need.
The Newlife Staffordshire Fund will support equipment provision for under-19s facing any significant disability, whether acquired through birth defect, prematurity, accident or illness.
Vitally, the Staffordshire Fund website – www.newlifecharity.co.uk/staffordshire – will enable local people to find out who needs help in the county right now and highlight the support the charity gives vulnerable families. It includes contact details for the Newlife County Liaison Team – telephone number 01543 431 444 or email email@example.com – and shows specific ways people can help support children with disability and terminal illness and their families.
That might involve taking part in a local sporting challenge, give you information on how to organise a fundraising event – or even ask you to donate £5 today! Volunteers are also needed to help raise awareness of what we do and how we do it.
Newlife Foundation supports families in Staffordshire through a range of free services: Nurse-staffed helpline Equipment grants Emergency equipment loans Sensory and developmental toy ‘pod’ loans.
The aim of the Newlife Staffordshire Fund, is to ensure children with disabilities or terminal illness in the county will not have to go without the equipment they need for everyday life.
Any monies collected surplus to requirements for William would be used to provide specialist equipment for another disabled or terminally ill child in Staffordshire.
Pictured: William Mardling