Ms Salisbury Newlife Provide Equipment For Disabled Child

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Marks & Spencer and Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children are presenting a new £17,618 powered wheelchair to fourteen year-old Hanna Baker, who has a diagnosis of spinal muscular atrophy.

The wheelchair will allow Hanna, who lives in Salisbury, to continue to attend school and hospital appointments. When her previous wheelchair broke down and couldn't be repaired, Hanna was unable to travel to hospital and to Queen Elizabeth's School in the neighbouring county of Dorset, where she is a Year 10 pupil.

Newlife is the UK's leading children's disability charity that works closely with families to provide a range of services and essential equipment for children with disabilities across the UK.

M&S has worked in partnership with Newlife for the last six years to recycle returned products - in keeping with its commitment to send no operational waste to landfill by 2012 as part of Plan A, its 180 point eco and ethical programme. Newlife sells half of the donated products in the Newlife Superstore in Cannock and recycles the remaining items. Last year the partnership helped to fund over 60 pieces of essential equipment for disabled children. 

Hanna said: "I am really looking forward to a reliable and comfortable new chair, to enable me to go out shopping, to see bands to go to school and to enjoy my life, without having to worry that it will break down all the time."

Hanna's mum Tina said "Hanna is either in bed or in her wheelchair. There have been days when she can't adjust the position of her existing wheelchair, which is very uncomfortable for her. Her circulation has been affected quite badly and this new chair will give her a fresh lease of life. Hanna has no real life without a functioning electric wheelchair."

 "People think that you automatically get supplied with the equipment that suits your specific health needs but that just isn't the case. Statutory services will only supply a standard chair, which Hanna can't sit up in because of the severity of her scoliosis, it would actually make her condition worse. With bespoke wheelchairs being so costly, it leaves most families with no alternative but to approach organisations like Newlife and M&S for help."

Jo Middleton, M&S Salisbury store manager, said: "We're delighted to present the equipment to Hanna. Our partnership with Newlife is not only great for the environment, as it means no waste goes to landfill, but it also helps to improve the lives of disabled children by providing much-needed specialist equipment."

Sheila Brown OBE, Chief Executive of Newlife Foundation, said: "This is a fantastic partnership between Newlife and M&S which benefits hundreds of disabled children. It is very encouraging to see the efforts of M&S in improving the lives of disabled children within this local community and across the UK. We are very grateful to everyone involved, and would encourage other groups and individuals to keep fundraising to help other disabled children."





Notes to Editors


About Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children

  • Established in 1991, Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children is the leading UK children's disability charity that works closely with families to provide a range of services for disabled and terminally-ill children across the UK.
  • Newlife's practical support includes providing specialist equipment to help the individual needs of disabled children, nurse-led support services, pioneering medical research and awareness campaigns.
  • Formerly known as the Birth Defects Foundation (BDF), Newlife changed its name in 2008 to reflect the widened scope of the charity to help more children.


About Marks & Spencer's Plan A

  • Plan A is Marks & Spencer's environmental and ethical programme which aims to make M&S the world's most sustainable retailer by 2015. Launched in 2007 and extended in March 2010, it takes a holistic approach to sustainability focusing on involving customers, involving all areas of the business and tackling issues such as climate change, waste, raw materials, health and being a fair partner.