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Summer 2017


















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Want to know the difference the right piece of equipment can make at the right time? Then look no further than 19 year old Sam from Salisbury. Sam has always wanted to go to university and had dreamed about the possibility of living away from home. Sam has Cerebral Palsy which means that the joints in his legs don’t work particularly well and so he needs to use a wheelchair. Growing up, he has needed a series of powered wheelchairs - and statutory services were unable to provide the right equipment.

Newlife has just given Sam his latest, most hitech powered wheelchair - the third from the charity. This has given him the confidence to move to a university 50 miles from his family home, among the hills of Winchester. Sam finally has the independence he has craved, that we all crave, when we go to University for the first time. Now he can pursue his career of Scriptwriting and do all the day to day activities such as cooking, washing, going to the library and the pub that all students take for granted. These activities were a day to day challenge for Sam prior to the arrival of his new chair.

Sam said: “This new wheelchair will ensure my continued independence. Film is my big passion and I would love to go into film scriptwriting as a career.” He added: “There is a baseline need for compassion and care that charities like Newlife fulfil. They help give every child the right to a future and the right to live a happy life.”

To see Sam’s video go to



We are pleased to announce that Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children and its supporting business Newlife Trading Ltd merged at the end of 2016 to become one organisation – ‘Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children’.

What does this mean? It means that as the charity for disabled and terminally ill children, we are committed to changing lives across the UK. Everything we do at Newlife reflects this aim, including the commercial division, which recycles and sells stock donated by corporate supporters; this includes clothing, shoes, accessories and furniture to directly raise funds to help achieve our aims. Newlife CEO Sheila Brown, OBE, said: “The Newlife mission is to make life better for children with disabilities, to give them the very best chance in life, through equipment provision and medical research and by campaigning so their needs are known and understood.

“Working together as one organisation we can better concentrate on our mission and support more disabled and terminally ill children around the UK.”


A specialist buggy means twoyear-old Dexter Brooks, from Bude, is now able to get out and about more and make the most of the Cornish countryside. Dexter has Cerebral Palsy which affects his muscle control; he has spasms during which his body goes rigid – but now when this happens he doesn’t injure his head because the equipment is fully padded. The buggy also keeps him in an upright position so his airway isn’t compromised. Mum Natasha said: “Dexter has been quite poorly recently and the buggy has certainly helped with our increased hospital visits.”

River Island’s ‘fantastic plastic’ initiative has now funded £600,000 of specialist equipment for children all over the UK. The fashion store giant donates the profit from the sale of every five pence carrier bag, at every one of its UK-wide stores, to Newlife. We have used the money to change children’s lives across the UK through our Equipment Grants Service.

Visit River Island’s Charity Hub at 1,000 ITEMS

Newlifeable – We have now recycled over 1,000 items through this innovative equipment recycling service. Newlifeable takes redundant items from statutory services and individuals, refurbishes them to meet national standards and makes them available through the website. Equipment includes specialist beds, wheelchairs, standing and walking frames, hoists, buggies, seating and bathroom aids.



Ever wondered whether charities get the chance to work closely with decision makers? Newlife recently hosted not one but two events at the House of Commons to celebrate its 25th year of changing lives. Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work, Penny Mordaunt joined Newlife staff and supporters at the House of Commons to celebrate the charity’s 25th anniversary and mark the launch of its Impact Report. The Impact Report gave families the opportunity to tell their stories on film, explaining how the right piece of equipment provided at the right time has helped change their children’s lives. The report also calls on government and charities to work together to create a better future.

“We are now looking forward to meeting with the minister again to further develop our equipment services and ensure that the one million disabled children living in the UK get the right equipment at the right time.” Newlife CEO Sheila Brown

The star of the night though was four-year-old Daisy Locke who joined in the celebrations with her parents William and Kate. Daisy and her family told their moving story of how a specialist buggy provided by Newlife made such a difference to their lives. During the event Daisy enjoyed ‘bottom shuffling’ across the floor to say hello to all the guests! The Impact Report launch followed on from a ground breaking Newlife exhibition, also at the House of Commons, highlighting some of the barriers preventing children getting the equipment they urgently need. Praised by Lord Rennard as ‘one of the most impressive

Newlife has supported more than 11,000 UK children through our in-demand Equipment Services including four-year-old Daisy Locke from Hampshire [pictured] who attended the anniversary event with parents Kate and Will. I’ve ever seen in Parliament’, the week-long exhibition – Breaking the Barriers – showcased Newlife’s innovative equipment recycling initiative. During the week charity staff met with MPs and Members of the House of Lords. This provided a real opportunity to develop relationships with decision makers across the UK and has already led to children receiving equipment who would otherwise have been denied.

Lord Rennard at the Breaking the Barriers exhibition.


Pictured left to right: Cannock Chase MP Amanda Milling, Minister of State for Disabilities Penny Mordaunt and Newlife CEO Sheila Brown.


CHILDREN Five year old Paige Garrington, from Staffordshire, needed a specialist bed to keep her safe as one small bump could be fatal. Across the UK, there are disabled and terminally ill children who are in desperate need of essential equipment that will make a significant difference to their lives. These aren’t luxury items or part of a ‘wish list’ – they’re absolutely vital pieces of equipment that will allow children to come out of hospital, help reduce pain or keep them safe. Last year (2016/17) one third of all children we helped were ‘in crisis’ before they got their equipment. This number has risen sharply in comparison to the previous year (2015/16) when the number of emergency/urgent applications to Newlife was below 25 per cent. This means that last year, over 900 disabled and terminally ill babies, children and young people in crisis situations would otherwise have been unable to get the vital equipment they needed – quickly – if Newlife hadn’t been able to act immediately. We did this by fast-tracking grant applications and issuing emergency equipment loans to support palliative care and ensure child safety. 6

N IN CRISIS “I think people would be shocked to hear that children in real crisis cannot get the equipment they need quickly enough from their local statutory services” said Newlife Head of Operations, Stephen Morgan.

Find out more about Paige’s story by watching the video on the following link:

CAN YOU HELP? We are anticipating a further rise in calls for help. With continued budget cuts in the statutory sector and an increasing number of children with disabilities, we know that without continued public support, Newlife will not be able to assist all those families who look to us for essential help. Please log onto Your County at and help a disabled child in your county today.


Eighteen-monthold Rudi Else, from Cheshire, can now sit at home fully supported, safe and comfortable with the same equipment that he uses at his local children’s hospice.

One-year-old Chloe Mead, from Hampshire, can now leave her house in a buggy that accommodates her oxygen tank, suctioning machine, oxygen monitoring equipment and gastrostomy feeding pump.




Hadley Brisdion from Hampshire can now stand thanks to his new standing frame. The six-year-old has Cerebral Palsy and is unable to sit, stand or walk unaided. His new standing frame supports his vital physiotherapy needs and also helps to reduce the pain he feels. The great news is that this will help make a difference to Hadley’s future health.

Night-time falls leading to hospital visits are a thing of the past for sixyear-old Amelia Kenealy from Cardiff, thanks to the emergency loan of a specialist bed to keep her safe.

Mum Sarah said: “Hadley uses the stander for an hour before going to bed to help alleviate some of the pain he experiences at night. The longterm aim is that he will have some ability to stand without such comprehensive equipment – but the stander is vital for putting in the ground work.”

Mum Katherine said: “Amelia has Down Syndrome and learning disabilities. She was able to pull herself over the sides of her old cot, which resulted in a fall and subsequent hospital visit. I was so worried. Now, the loan bed is definitely keeping her safe; that, combined with a monitor to check her breathing, has taken a huge weight off my shoulders.”




Two-year-old Isaac O’Connor, from Liverpool, is learning to play with his brother, thanks to the loan of a box full of specialist sensory toys. Isaac has a rare genetic condition that has resulted in developmental delay and learning difficulties.

Five-year-old Oliver Kowal, from Hampshire, has a rare neurodevelopmental disorder that makes him ‘one in a million’. Thanks to his special seat he can now join in more with family fun.

Mum Kate, who is a Special Educational Needs and disability link worker, said: “The contents of the ‘pod’ are helping Isaac interact with his brother. They both love the ‘Tranquil Turtle’ so we all have a bit of a wind-down together with the sound and light toy at the end of the day.”


Mum Vickey said: “Oliver has repeated episodes of weakness and paralysis so control of his limbs can vary greatly. His new comfy, supportive chair with a high-low feature means he can sit with us, wherever we are. It arrived at an amazingly helpful time, just as Oliver was coming out of hospital after having a gastrostomy fitted to administer fluids and medication.”


WILLIAM KINSVILLE NO MORE PERCHING ON WARDROBES A specialist sleeping environment is helping keep ten-year-old William Kinsville, from Essex, safe at night. William has severe autism, sensory integration disorder and learning disabilities. Mum Jenny said: “William experiences a very different world to what we consider ‘normal’ and has little awareness of personal danger. One morning we found him perched on top of his wardrobe – it was terrifying! Having a SafeSpace from Newlife has been transformative; William is happy in the bed, where he can jump around and occupy himself without the risk of injury.”

ALI DAYSAL HI-TECH HELP UNDERPINS PALLIATIVE CARE With hi-tech specialist support, teenager Ali Daysal from Greater London can be cared for in comfort, at the heart of family life. He has a complex condition that impacts on movement and learning abilities and would spend most of his day on the family sofa, being turned regularly because of a problem with fluid around his heart. That often meant he was facing the back of the sofa, unable to see anything or anyone around him. So a very special piece of kit that doubles as a bed and wheelchair and helps prevent pressure sores is just what the doctor ordered. Mum Serbian said: “This has been so much better for him. And with Ali now under palliative care, the equipment couldn’t have come at a better time.”




One-year-old Nevaeh Latchford, from Manchester, now has a specialist car seat so she doesn’t need to be propped up with rolledup towels when she travels in the family car. She can’t use the right hand side of her body and experiences painful spasms as well as up to 20 seizures each day.

Birmingham five-year-old, Rio O’Mara, has autism. He is now safe and calm when he goes outside, thanks to a specialist buggy, which means more fun days out for the whole family.

Mum Danielle said: “The new car seat has a swivel base, so it’s easy to get her in and out of the vehicle and her head is tilted back so if she has a seizure and we can’t pull over, she’s safe as her airways are kept clear. We can’t say how grateful we are.”

Mum Kira said: “Rio struggles with noise and crowds – without a buggy to keep him safe he will throw himself to the floor, behave aggressively or run off. His old buggy was too small for him, but without the equipment I was always worried he would hurt himself so we weren’t going out unless we had to. Now Rio has somewhere to retreat from noise and crowds and has fewer meltdowns – he just sits in his buggy, quietly and calmly.”



Harriet’s dad David said: “Fortunately, Harriet’s hospital nurse told us about Newlife – and the charity turned around our application really quickly. We had the go-ahead within a day or so and the equipment was delivered within the week. The car seat we now have for her tilts back to help her rest when she is tired. Its swivel base is also really important because if she goes into cardiac arrest we can get to her a lot more easily.”


When the Winchesters’ family home in Dartford, Kent, was burgled, robbers got away with the family car – along with the special-needs car seat and buggy for daughter Harriet. The 18-month-old has a congenital heart condition that has so far resulted in three separate open heart surgeries. She needs the specialist equipment to keep her safe and comfortable when she is out with twin sister Olivia and three-year-old brother Freddie. Equipment Grants offer permanent provision of a wide range of practical support. This could be anything from a wheelchair or walker, to give independence or help children stand or walk, to a special-needs car seat or bed for safety and to reduce pain. Even small items can have a big impact so Newlife also provides items like video monitors, weighted bedding, buggy weatherproofing, safety harnesses and specialneeds clothing.

Newlife’s swift response meant three-year-old Evie Appleyard was able to be discharged from hospital to spend precious time at home in Stockport with her mum and dad. Evie has a rare life-limiting, undiagnosed neuro metabolic condition. Last year she spent five months of her life in Manchester Children’s Hospital.

Mum Christine said: “It would have been a lot longer if it wasn’t for Newlife; the organisation provided us with several pieces of specialist equipment vital in helping us care for Evie.” They had to wait several months for statutory services’ support. In the meantime, Newlife’s loan of a specialist buggy alongside a fast tracked car seat grant meant Evie could go home with her parents. Evie and her family were also loaned a safe and comfortable P-Pod seat which gave her an alternative to lying in bed. Instead, she was able to sit, supported and comfortable, in the lounge and be part of the family.

Christine added: “Newlife supported us when no-one else could.” When your child is life-limited or terminally ill, there is always the concern that support could come too late. This is why Newlife offers Emergency Equipment Loans of specialist beds, wheelchairs, buggies, seating and portable hoists. Special-needs beds are also available for those sleeping in unsafe environments; for example children who have no awareness of danger and will climb and jump on any accessible surfaces. The Newlife Care Services team works with each child’s relevant health professional and the charity aims to deliver, anywhere in the UK, within 72 hours. Emergency Equipment Loans are made for around six months, while Newlife works with local statutory services to secure permanent provision.




PLAY THERAPY PODS Newife’s Play Therapy Pod service provides specialist toys direct to families’ homes all across the UK. Each pod contains around £400 of toys, aimed at a variety of ages and disability needs. Interactive toys help improve handeye coordination, auditory toys encourage interaction with others through play and sound while tactile toys stimulate touch and encourage motor function. Free of charge and loaned for 12 weeks, the Play Therapy Pods are designed to stimulate senses as well as help children be comforted and distracted from pain through play.

Loaned to families, free of charge, and delivered directly to the child’s home.


of parents say the Play Therapy Pod enabled them to enjoy quality time with their child.


of parents had a better understanding of their child’s needs.


enjoyed quality time as a family through play with appropriate toys.


of families report the specialist toys improved relationships.

Buying toys for little Arjun Malik from Leicestershire is not easy because he has Down Syndrome and is hearing impaired. He needs extra stimulation and specialist toys have helped him explore different forms of play. Over the past two years, Arjun has had the loan of interactive, tactile and auditory Play Therapy Pods from Newlife. His mum, Sarmi, is delighted with his progress. She said: “I can see that he is genuinely learning and has come such a long way.”  She added: “Because specialist toys for children are so expensive, Play Therapy Pods are a great way for me to find out what Arjun enjoys. I would never have thought to buy him toys like these but they work in a completely different way than standard high street toys.” 




Two-year-old Patrick Langford from Nottingham has a rare brain condition. Using the many and varied contents of a Comfort Capsule, his parents have been making memories to treasure. Comfort Capsules have been put together with the help of an expert team and contain carefully chosen items which aim to support families in making the most of their precious time with their child. They can also help distract and entertain children while bringing families together for quality time. Contents include a V-shaped pillow, soft blanket, digital photo frame, portable CD and DVD players, digital camera, talking photo album, baby monitor, aromatherapy oils, stimulation and handprint kits and a memory box.

Mum Vicky said: “The digital camera has been brilliant for us – we are trying to take as many pictures as possible. We also have quite a lot of hospital stays with Patrick so the DVD player has been really helpful at distracting him when we are there. “Patrick has a twin and they were able to use the handprint maker together – we are trying to make as many memories of the two of them together as we possibly can.”

To hear Patrick’s story, go to:


MEDICAL RESEARCH WHY IS MEDICAL RESEARCH IMPORTANT? I often say ‘today’s research is tomorrow’s treatment’. Medicine has gone through enormous changes over the last 30 to 40 years and that has come about through research. Current research is in gene therapy or creating stem cells to replace damaged organs in the body. Stem cells have the remarkable potential to develop into many different cell types in the body during early life and growth. What may sound like science fiction today will become routine treatment tomorrow. WHAT TYPE OF MEDICAL RESEARCH DOES NEWLIFE FUND? We focus on funding research into the causes, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of birth defects. We have a research committee which includes some of the UK’s leading paediatricians and geneticists and they are responsible for selecting the projects. We’ve also invested in the next generation of researchers through funding vital training courses. We selected 60 top medical students, giving them the opportunity to focus on birth defects research while they were qualifying as doctors. Now embedded in their careers and all working to improve the lives of children, six of them are well on their way to becoming Professors with their own research programmes. 14

HOW DOES MEDICAL RESEARCH BENEFIT CHILDREN? I am very proud that, when we started, our first grant was to support gene therapy for children who had a potentially fatal immune deficiency and had to live in a plastic bubble to avoid all infections. At the time it might have seemed crazy, but today there are many children with these disorders who are living normal lives thanks to this gene therapy. We have often been at the frontiers of medical research, active in supporting the discovery of genes for over 50 disorders. HOW IS MEDICAL RESEARCH FUNDED? Most medical research, apart from drug development, is funded by charities. While there are larger organisations in the UK that provide substantial grants of over £1m, there is a shortage of research charities funding smaller project grants into individual rare conditions. This is where Newlife steps in. We raise all our funds from donations, either from the public or from the companies which donate goods for us to recycle or sell in our stores. We hope that those shopping in the stores not only get a bargain for themselves, but have the satisfaction knowing that they are helping us to make the scientific breakthroughs that will improve children’s lives.

WHAT MEDICAL RESEARCH HAVE YOU FUNDED RECENTLY – AND WHAT DO YOU HOPE THIS WILL ACHIEVE? In 2012 the Newlife Birth Defects Research Centre was opened at the Institute for Child Health and Great Ormond Street Hospital site by HRH The Princess Royal. It is Europe’s biggest centre dedicated to birth defects research, which is the number one threat to child health in the western world today. One recently funded cuttingedge project was into earlyyears childhood blindness. Professor Jane Sowden and her team at the Newlife Birth Defects Research Centre have been able to transfer stem cells into the basic cells of the retina, which in mice has had some success in correcting blindness. We are still a long way from treating children, but, with a grant we have awarded, she has made good progress in making human stem cells onto a three dimensional matrix resembling the eyeball. This is really encouraging and could well-be the initial breakthrough that leads to an amazing new treatment. Professor Michael Patton is a Consultant Clinical Geneticist and Emeritus Professor of Medical Genetics at St George’s Hospital London and Honorary Professor of Medical Genetics at University College London. Professor Patton is both a Trustee and the Medical Director of Newlife.


TRUSTED BY HUNDREDS OF COMPANIES You have read about some of the amazing ways Newlife changes children’s lives every day. But we couldn’t do this without the work of the charity’s commercial division, which operates a successful recycling and retail business. It is the trusted recycler for around 180 high street retailers, designer manufacturers and supermarkets.

Six Stores

Six stores – three in Cannock, Staffordshire, and one each in the towns of Market Drayton and Uttoxeter with another in Heanor, Derbyshire – sell a wide range of donated and de-labelled goods at discounted prices. The profit from these stores funds vital equipment services for disabled and terminally ill children across the UK. In addition, the business offers key employment opportunities.


2016/17 saw record breaking sales at five out of six of the stores, which reflects the increased amount of stock now being handled. Ten per cent of this comes from donors in Europe, giving Newlife customers access to ranges of clothing and household goods they won’t find on sale anywhere else in the UK. To complement store sales, in 2004 Newlife launched its own eBay site which offers niche items for sale. Goods include designer-brand handbags, sunglasses and clothing. 2016/17 was a record year for sales – up more ‘SPLASH THE CASH’ than 40 per cent – and the Newlife eBay site now boasts and help disabled children. Join more than 2,200 followers. our band of savvy shoppers and spend, spend, spend!

SUPERHEROES CHANGE LIVES SUPERHEROES COME IN ALL SHAPES AND SIZES …BUT ALL HAVE ONE GOAL… TO CHANGE LIVES… After five-year-old Max Brennan got his lightweight wheelchair he decided he wanted to help other children in need. He raised over £4,000 to help change children’s lives, despite having severe pain in his joints and bones which means that some days just holding himself up can be too hard for him! Max and his mum Emma Brennan launched ‘Max’s Marvellous Mission’ – entering the Milton Keynes Superhero Fun Run on May 1 2017, following this up with a barbecue in the family garden in the village of Brixworth. The whole community got behind their efforts – resulting in an amazing £4,065 to help other disabled children in Northamptonshire get the equipment they need for everyday life. Max has a complex genetic connective tissue disorder called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome that affects his joints, along with tibial torsion which makes it difficult to walk. Mum Emma says:“Some days he can walk and run around like other children his age, but for Max this is short lived. He tires very easily and gets severe pain in his bones and joints, which means that other days just walking and holding himself up is too hard and he has multiple falls and accidents. He really needed a lightweight wheelchair to keep him safe and help him do all the things he loves. In particular Max loves going to the zoo and seeing all the animals, which he can now do! When they launched Max’s Marvellous Mission, they had a fundraising target of around £200 in mind. “However,” added Emma, “everyone in the village has been so supportive – the funds just kept coming in to our Just Giving page, all the teachers and pupils at the local school knew about it – and we were even stopped in the street and given money. Around 120 people turned up to our family barbecue and raffle and as a result of all this we have been able to donate £4,065 to Newlife to help other children with disabilities, like Max”.

When Newlife appeals for ‘local (SUPER) heroes’ to help us support disabled and terminally ill children we never cease to be amazed by the enthusiasm of those who offer their time and energy. TAKING ON ANOTHER PERSONAL CHALLENGE Firefighter Clive Baillie from Lincolnshire who, together with his watch manager Kyle Campbell, has this summer cycled the 450 miles between the highest mountains in England, Scotland and Wales – and then climbed them. They achieved all this in just three days. For Clive, it’s a way of giving something back to the charity that has supported his teenage son Jake, who has Autistic Spectrum Disorder resulting in challenging behaviours.

CAN YOU HELP? If you would like to fundraise to help support disabled and terminally ill children in your area, why not call the Newlife County Liaison Team for a chat. They can be contacted on 01543 431 444 or alternatively, email


Businesses, organisations and social groups across the UK support Newlife in lots of different ways, working with us to change lives. A donation of more than £70,000 by The Morrisons Foundation has given disabled children the opportunity to learn to play. The funding will cover Play Therapy Pod running costs and ensure we can issue around 1,000 loans to homes all across the UK. Carrick Brown – Senior Care Services Manager – was particularly overwhelmed by this considerable donation.

100% GUARANTEE Newlife guarantees that 100% of any money you donate will go towards helping disabled and terminally ill children in the UK. Not a penny will be taken out for anything else.

“Play Therapy Pods make it possible for families to prioritise play and support the development of skills and abilities through fun activities and creative opportunities. The Morrisons Foundation will change hundreds of lives through their financial support for this service,” he said.

Barnsley and Rotherham Chamber of Commerce is currently supporting families in South Yorkshire; their funding has already helped ten children including Doncaster five-year-old Lucas Rodermond who now has a safe sleeping environment. Lucas has Autistic Spectrum Disorder, Epilepsy and Global Development Delay; he previously put himself in danger because he experiences seizures and could frequently be found roaming around the house, climbing over stair gates and onto furniture.

Briggs Equipment, suppliers of materials handling vehicles, has its headquarters in Cannock, home of Newlife. Staff there – and at its satellite bases in Cumbernauld, Scotland, and Belfast, Northern Ireland – are backing Newlife in 2017. Some members of staff have already taken on a gym-based cycle spin challenge while others joined a 5k road run. Accounts assistant Rose Langley is tackling six races over six months – and her commitment has won the praise of her local MP, Wendy Morton.

Derby based chartered architecture firm Morrison Design is organising a series of events, including a fiveaside football tournament and entry into April’s London Marathon. Architectural technologist Anthony Page – who ran the Marathon in a time of 04.40.49 – said: “I was able to meet Finley Cooper, a young boy from Derby who received a specialist powered wheelchair from Newlife. That was such an eye opener for me and really inspired me. Until you see how Newlife can help, you don’t really appreciate it.”




BE VALUED AS A VOLUNTEER Earlier this year Newlife held an award ceremony in celebration of our volunteers. Lee Norman, from Kimberley in Nottinghamshire, was presented with a Special Celebration Award to mark his 870-plus volunteering hours. Newlife was so impressed with Lee that he now has a paid contract, making him a valuable member of the warehousing team that supports the charity’s Heanor retail store. Lee said: “It feels great working for such a good cause like Newlife. I enjoy working at the warehouse and was very pleased to win an award.” Newlife’s National Volunteer Manager Kevin Lowe said: “Whether you’re retired or have a few spare hours a week – or are a student with a long summer ahead of you – volunteering is something we value at Newlife. You don’t need any experience and most of our stores open seven days a week, including evenings, so you can choose days or hours that suit you.” He added: “The sense of knowing that what they are doing will change a child’s life is something that all our volunteers are proud of.” Newlife also provides volunteering opportunities for people with disabilities. Fred Howlett has been coming along to Newlife’s Opportunity Centre in Cannock since 2008 and has given more than 1,600 hours of his time – and has received special awards to recognise his dedication Fred, who volunteers twice a week, said: “I like to come in and work and do different things. I like to sort coat hangers and hang clothes and use the pens to black-out labels. I also get to see my friends.”

Our 1000 Hours Award for dedicated volunteering went to: Richard Fowler, Fred Howlett, Josie Grimley, Angela Pearce, Peter Evans, Jill Austin, Valerie Beale, Eileen Brindley and Jill Evans. The Special Award winners were: Lee Norman, Elly Hance, Rosemary Skinner, Clare Saunders, Diane Rochelle, Trish Meacham, Sue Tunnicliffe and Sue Robinson.


Contact: National Volunteering Manager Kevin Lowe on 01543 439 927 or e-mail 18

Everyone at Newlife would like to say a big thank you to all our supporters – without your help and generosity we wouldn’t be able to change the lives of so many children; children like Oscar Minto. For seven-year-old Oscar from Hereford, having a lightweight wheelchair to help him get around has made a big difference to his life. He’s no longer in so much pain when he’s exhausted from ongoing chemotherapy treatments and can join in activities with his friends and enjoy days out with his family. Oscar initially received a specialist buggy from Newlife after parents Katie and Steve were told he had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia in May 2014, when he was just four years old. More recently, after outgrowing his buggy, he has received a lightweight wheelchair to help him continue to go out easily and attend vital hospital appointments. Newlife provided Oscar with his wheelchair through Newlifeable – – a service which takes redundant disability

Mum Katie said: “Oscar enjoys going to coffee shops and the cinema and loves going to animal places as well as for a family walk in the park. Having the wheelchair means he can do all this and go lots of other places. It has made a massive difference to Oscar.”

equipment and recycles and refurbishes it to meet national standards before offering it on a first come, first served basis. The first the family knew of Oscar’s condition was when he complained of being tired, listless and cold while they were away on holiday. A sudden high temperature prompted them to seek medical attention and he was prescribed antibiotics for a suspected chest infection. At home he saw his own GP, but didn’t get any better and became so pale his lips turned white. A few weeks later he was taken to a local walk-in centre when he began screaming in pain. Oscar was referred for blood tests which revealed he had cancer. Katie said: “It was such a shock, we weren’t prepared for it. No one had even mentioned Leukaemia. The first few weeks were horrific as Oscar began a three and a half year course of chemotherapy. To begin with there were roughly six months of incredibly intensive treatment which saw Oscar lose his hair and spend hours in

“Oscar soon became very tired and easily worn out. It became difficult for us to go out – until Newlife provided a specialist buggy, which was just what we needed, when we needed it.” outpatients. He is now on three years of maintenance treatment which involves daily tablets at home, IV chemotherapy in hospital once a month and lumbar punctures every three months to check his progress. Almost three years later and with Oscar continuing his chemotherapy regimen until August this year, he was getting too big for the buggy – so the family turned once again to Newlife. Katie said: “Oscar loves his wheelchair. It has given him more freedom and has given him his dignity back as he’s no longer in a buggy – and his friends think the wheelchair is cool. It’s much easier for me to push as it’s lighter and easier to manoeuvre – and he can even selfpropel in it too.”



Newlife Magazine - Summer 2017  
Newlife Magazine - Summer 2017