Thursday, August 24, 2017
Store helps to improve lives of disabled kids

Store helps to improve lives of disabled kids

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Shanike Henry

At night, young Shanike Henry’s body twists into uncomfortable and potentially health-damaging positions.

The nine-year-old from Camberwell has cerebral palsy, which affects muscle control and prevents her from repositioning herself so she can relax and sleep.

But a deal between Newlife the charity for disabled children and supermarket giant Marks & Spencer (M&S) has now given her a specialist sleep system to help solve this problem.

Her mum, Shaneika Barrett, says: “I used pillows and cushions to try and keep her body straight, but Shanike turns to the right and then her body twists into positions which are bad for her posture and health.

“Her physiotherapist recommended a special sleep system, but there was no funding for this from our local statutory services.”

Shanike, who has undergone hip surgery, also has epilepsy and needs to be positioned for comfort and safety every hour of the day she uses a specialist wheelchair.

With the sleep system costing £735, Shanike’s health team suggested the family contact Newlife, the largest UK charity providing specialist equipment.

M&S has worked with Newlife since 2006 as part of its Plan A commitments, donating returned products and clothing samples that cannot be sold, to the charity to be resold or recycled.

The majority of the donated products are sold in the Newlife SuperStore in Staffordshire and the charity recycles the remaining items, all to raise money for children with disabilities.

In October 2010, M&S launched a grants scheme, which has specifically helped fund over 260 pieces of essential equipment, totalling in excess of £850,000 for disabled children in local communities across the UK.

Jacquie Leonard, community programme manager at Marks & Spencer, said: “Our partnership with Newlife is not only great for the environment but it also helps to improve the lives of disabled children by providing much-needed specialist equipment.

“We are delighted to be able to support such a vital charity.”

Newlife’s head of operations Stephen Morgan said: “The UK has more disabled children than ever before – and our partnership with M&S benefits hundreds of children.

“It’s an outrage that families have to battle local services and yet still face heart-breaking refusals. “The support of organisations like M&S means we can change lives across the UK every day.”

Assistant Editor | Shuz Azam has been a journalist for more than 20 years and although he trained in Shropshire at the Shropshire Star where he later worked as a reporter his first job in London was working on the Mercury in Deptford. He later moved to the sister paper the South London Press working as reporter, sub editor, production editor and deputy editor. He has also worked in West London as editor of the Ealing Gazette and content manager of Uxbridge Gazette, Harrow Observer and Bucks Examiner and Advertiser. Today he is assistant editor of the South London Press and works for all our titles.

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Store helps to improve lives of disabled kids