A world of opportunity opens
up for teenager Beth
NEW opportunities are opening up for Formby teenager Beth
Stevenson, thanks to provision of a portable hoist through a charity's
innovative equipment service.
Beth, aged 16, from Formby, has Rett Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that
almost exclusively affects girls and results in physical and mental disability.
Combined with scoliosis, this has meant Beth has had to undergo hip
reconstruction surgery and have steel rods inserted in her spine. She is now
reliant on a wheelchair; and the use of a hoist to get her in and out of it.
Mum Valerie McGurk said:- "We have gone to great expense to have the
ground floor of our house adapted for Beth, with ceiling track hoisting in part
of it. Unfortunately this doesn't extend throughout so, for instance, she misses
out on hugs with grandma on the settee and has to stay in her wheelchair when
she is in the garden. It also means Beth hasn't been able to visit her auntie in
London since 2012, when she had major surgery.So I researched portable hoists, but was horrified by the prices. That's when I
thought about Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children, which helped us a few
years ago with specialist seating for Beth.
When Newlife said they could help us again I was elated. The news came the same
week we had had two applications for social care and health funding refused. I
thought 'thank goodness someone, somewhere really does care."
The hoist will increase opportunities for days out, when access to a toilet is
essential, as well as overnight stays with family; and holidays. Valerie
added:- "This has opened up a whole world of activities for Beth; it will
transform her life."
Newlife is the UK's largest charity provider of specialist equipment for
children with disabilities and terminal illness and has supported 614 children
across Merseyside. It offers a range of services and is now championing a
recycling initiative which takes equipment destined for landfill and refurbishes
it to meet national standards.
Beds, wheelchairs, standing and walking frames, hoists, buggies, seating and
bathroom aids; collected from statutory services and individuals; are
available on a 1st come, 1st served basis
Families who would be eligible for a Newlife Equipment Grant; like Beth's; can
apply for free support through Newlifeable, should the item they need be
advertised on the website. However, each item can also be purchased at a
substantially reduced price which covers the cost of refurbishment.
This not only enables Newlife to support more disabled children than ever
before, it also helps statutory services by saving them storage costs for
equipment they can't allocate locally and at the same time enabling them to meet
their legal responsibilities by creating a trusted UK wide, 2nd hand market.
Newlife Head of Operations Stephen Morgan said:- "The number of disabled
and terminally ill children in need around the UK is rising; government figures
have put this at around 1 million; but the budgets set for provision through
statutory services are declining at local levels. So new and innovative ways
must be found to make provision. Newlifeable demonstrates the importance of
getting this equipment back into circulation nationally."
To date, Newlife has recovered over ₤1.2million of equipment which it has
refurbished at a cost of around ₤210,000.
To find out about the full range of Newlife services'