Corban Clifford, aged 15 months and from Twerton in Bath, will soon be able to get out and about in safety thanks to the generous listeners of BBC Radio 4.
TV presenter Jon Bentley was the voice of a BBC Radio 4 charity appeal in December (2015) on behalf of Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children, and now more than a dozen children across the UK, including Corban, are seeing the benefits.
Newlife is the UK’s largest charity provider of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness.
Jon Bentley – who presents Channel 5’s innovative The Gadget Show, is a Newlife supporter.
He said: “I find it truly exceptional how Newlife offers invaluable free help which transforms the lives of children with disabilities and terminal illness and their families.”
Newlife National Head of Fundraising Michael Bolton added: “The weekly Radio 4 charity appeal regularly gets 2.3million listeners, and we were delighted to be chosen for this opportunity to let more people know what we do and how we do it.
“Thanks to the generosity of Radio 4 listeners who so kindly responded to our appeal, we are now providing specialist equipment for a number of children with disabilities and terminal illness around the UK.”
Corban has bilateral vocal chord palsey, a condition that affects his breathing and as a result has a tracheostomy which needs constant monitoring and suctioning.
To get him out and about in the local community, his parents have been using a standard baby buggy, but this doesn’t have the necessary storage space for the medical equipment Corban needs on hand at all time, including a suctioning machine, suction catheters and emergency kit.
Mum Cheryl Clifford said: “I usually ended up having to carry some of the equipment myself – but that wasn’t easy, especially as I am currently pregnant.
“What we needed is a specialist buggy with a tray underneath which will accommodate all of the heavy medical equipment.”
With no funding available from local statutory services, Corban’s community nurse told the family about Newlife, and he now has the equipment, costing £454, he needs, which is parent-facing so that Cheryl and her husband can easily monitor their son’s condition.
Newlife has helped provide £230,871 of equipment for 169 children with disabilities and terminal illness in Somerset.
Right now, the charity is currently working with another 14 families in the county with equipment needs totalling £6,213.
To find out more about how Newlife supports families in Somerset go to: www.newlifecharity.co.uk/somerset.
Newlife guarantees that 100 per cent of monies donated or fundraised in Somerset will be used to specifically help children with disabilities and terminal illness in the county.