A ten-year-old boy and an eight-year-old girl have received new specialist equipment thanks to a donation from a Northamptonshire-based company.
Wellingborough-based Rockingham Forest Kiwanis organised a charity golf event and donated £4,283 to Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children, which paid for a new wheelchair for Malakai White, from Brackley, and a specialist buggy for an eight-year-old girl from Northampton.
The foundation is the UK’s largest charity funder of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illnesses.
Rockingham Forest Kiwanis president, Michael Mathews, said: “The main objective of the club is to raise money to support local children who are unable to obtain funding from other sources. This years’ golf day received excellent support and is our greatest single fundraising event enabling the club to support Newlife along with other local charities."
Newlife Foundation head of national fundraising, Michael Bolton, who was present at the handover, added: “With applications for equipment soaring, the support of organisations like the Rockingham Forest Kiwanis is key to our ability to continue to help families of children with disabilities and terminal illness in Northamptonshire.
“We are very grateful for their on-going support, as they have already helped us fund a powered wheelchair and a specialist buggy for two other children in the county.”
The Rockingham Forest Kiwanis is one of a handful Kiwani clubs in the UK, dedicated to helping children, both locally and internationally. There are over 600,000 Kiwani members worldwide.
At the official handover on Wednesday December 2, Malakai was delighted to be getting his new lightweight manual wheelchair. He has Cerebral Palsy and Spastic Diplegia which means that while he can walk short distances, using ankle supports, he struggles with uneven ground and slopes.
As a result, he misses out on family days out and has to either forgo school trips or they have to be designed around his abilities.
Mum Georgina White said: “Malakai has anxiety issues because of this – he is the only one in the family with a disability and having the wheelchair will enable him to fit in a bit more. Malakai is absolutely in love with his new wheelchair.”
Because he is able to walk short distances he does not meet local statutory services criteria for a wheelchair – which is why Malakai’s physiotherapist advised Georgina to turn to Newlife for help to fund the £2,815 equipment.
She added: “Walking is a cause of pain for Malakai, so he isn’t able to go far. We had been using a buggy to get him around, but he outgrew this so he has had to sit out of a lot of things.
“The lightweight wheelchair will boost his confidence – he felt babyish in the buggy – and propelling it himself will help improve his upper body strength.”
With demand for its range of services increasing dramatically, the charity is increasingly looking to ‘local heroes’ to help fund essential equipment for children in their own counties.
Newlife has provided specialist equipment for 169 children in Northamptonshire, totalling £202,420. However, the charity is currently working with a further ten families, with combined equipment needs of £13,510. If you would like to help a disabled child in your area, go to www.newlifecharity.co.uk/northamptonshire and click on the Donate button.
The website also gives more information about children in the area who have already been helped and ways you can fundraise. Alternatively, you could contact the Newlife County Liaison Team on 01543 431 444, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Newlife guarantees that 100 per cent of monies donated in Northamptonshire will be used to provide specialist equipment for children in the county.
For full details of Newlife Foundation's range of practical support for disabled and terminally ill children and their families, call the Newlife Nurse Helpline – 0800 902 0095 (free from UK landlines and mobiles) – or go to http://www.newlifecharity.co.uk