This year, we are celebrating five years of working with Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children. Since 2015, this incredible partnership has saved items from ending up in landfill and helped change the lives of disabled and terminally ill children across the UK.
How does outdoor clothing help provide specialist disability equipment?
The products we donate whether they are unsold, excess or end of line items to Newlife are then sold in one of the charity’s seven stores across the UK, to raise funds for its vital care services. Furthermore, all items are saved from landfill where possible. Any that can’t be sold are recycled for raw material reclamation – which is good for the planet and great for disabled children!
Newlife’s unique recycling operation diverts 2,100 tonnes of clothing from landfill annually. It generates carbon savings of 10,800 tonnes which is the equivalent of taking 4,500 cars off the road.
Every penny raised is used to fund Newlife’s core care services and to change children’s lives. Newlife is the UK’s largest children’s charity provider of specialist disability equipment. It has been changing the lives of disabled and terminally ill children for almost 30 years, helping more than 24,400 children through its services, since the charity began.
Newlife’s services include:
Nurse Helpline: Newlife nurses run a free helpline to give families vital support and information.
Equipment Grants Service: Newlife provides specialist disability equipment such as beds, wheelchairs, and seats to keep children safe, free from pain and discomfort and to enable them to fulfill their potential.
Emergency Equipment Loans Service: Newlife runs the UK’s only emergency loans service, providing essential equipment to children in crisis anywhere in the UK, in just 72 hours. Such cases include: those who just can’t wait for the equipment; are at risk of injury; or need the equipment to be discharged from hospital.
Play Therapy Pods: Newlife provides free loans of specialist toys to encourage learning and give enjoyment and relaxation.
Research: Newlife has invested more than £15 million in medical research into the cause, prevention and treatment of birth defects.
Campaigning: Newlife campaigns to reform national and local policies regarding specialist equipment for disabled children, working tirelessly for the rights of disabled children and their families.
Who like many of the children helped by Newlife, has been provided with the essential equipment to improve his quality of life.
Newlife provided Kai with a specialist buggy and a Safespace bed through its Equipment Grants Service as well as emergency loans to keep him safe until the equipment of his very own could be granted.
Five-year-old Kai has autism, sensory processing difficulties and delays in his development. Kai’s development is at around 24 months old and he has limited verbal communication.
It is very difficult for Kai and his family to get out into the community. Kai is unable to walk for long as he has weak muscles and gets tired easily. He also becomes overwhelmed due to his sensory processing difficulties and falls over or tries to run away. He doesn’t understand danger so his parents would have to run after him, making it difficult for them to keep both Kai and his younger sister safe. His parents would struggle to carry him as he was too heavy to be carried for a long way and it would cause them back pain. He had outgrown his standard buggies and really needed a larger, sturdier, specialist buggy to keep him safe.
When Kai’s family approached their local statutory and health services, they were told that he did not meet the criteria for equipment funding, so the family instead turned to Newlife for help, who provided Kai with a specialist buggy through its Equipment Grants Service. This buggy has higher sides and a chest strap to keep him safe and secure. Now his family can enjoy walks and day trips out knowing that Kai is safe and happy.
Kai also finds it difficult to sleep during the night, often waking up multiple times and only needing a few hours of sleep each night. He was waking up and wandering around the house and putting himself at risk as he has no awareness of danger. Kai would climb onto furniture and windowsills, and has even climbed out of a window and got out of the back door. He would try and chew things and has been taken to A&E after hurting himself. Kai could climb out of his bed and would fall to the floor, so was sleeping on a mattress on the floor to try to keep safe, but he needed a specialist bed to keep him safe at night.
Kai needed an assessment for a bed at home from a healthcare professional, and this was unable to be done due to the pandemic, delaying him being able to get the specialist bed he needed from the local statutory and health services. Newlife provided him with a specialist Safespace bed which has high, padded sides that Kai cannot climb and fall out of. The bed also calms his sensory needs, promoting a sense of sleep and helping him get into a sleep routine. Now Kai, his parents and sister are no longer disturbed during the night, they can get the rest and sleep they all need, improving wellbeing for the entire family.
Kai’s mum, Alisha, said: “We are so grateful to Newlife for providing us with the equipment Kai needed. He feels so safe and secure in his new buggy, now I can take him on days out and to the shops. It was really difficult before to keep both Kai and his sister safe, but now I feel confident taking them both out and we can do more together as a family. We have been able to get the train to specialist soft play areas; on day trips that Kai enjoys for his sensory needs and on walks and outings to aid with his development.
“The specialist bed means that we can all actually sleep now and get the rest we need. It has improved our wellbeing and quality of life as a family.
“The equipment has made our day to day life much better as Kai is now happy and safe. It really has made such a big difference to our lives. We honestly have no idea where we would be without the help and generosity of Newlife. It’s hard to think back to how life once was for us as the improvement is so drastic.”
Newlife’s Equipment Grants Service ensures that the right equipment is provided at the right time to keep children safe, free from pain and discomfort and enable them to fulfil their potential and improve their quality of life.
With the support of Craghoppers, Newlife can continue this vital work and help thousands of more children just like Kai. For more information on Newlife’s services and how you can support the charity, visit: https://newlifecharity.co.uk/