Northamptonshire business lights up the life of disabled children

From left, human resource manager Val Cummins, chief technical officer at Collingwood Justin Maeers, events manager at Newlife Philippa Gregory, group marketing director at Collingwood Kate Jackson, and warehouse manager at Collingwood Tony Ram
From left, human resource manager Val Cummins, chief technical officer at Collingwood Justin Maeers, events manager at Newlife Philippa Gregory, group marketing director at Collingwood Kate Jackson, and warehouse manager at Collingwood Tony Ram

A Northamptonshire charity has received a donation of £3,000 from a county firm.

Sywell-based Collingwood Lighting has donated £3,000 to the newly launched Newlife Northamptonshire Fund to support children with disabilities and terminal illness in the county.

Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children is the UK’s largest charity funder of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness.

It has already helped 156 children in Northamptonshire through equipment grants and loans totalling more than £200,063.

In March, Newlife launched its county-based appeal as an opportunity for local people to help local children with disabilities or terminal illness. Every penny donated or fundraised in Northamptonshire can be guaranteed to support vulnerable families across the county.

Now Collingwood Lighting – specialist in LED products, with its UK headquarters at Sywell Aerodrome near Wellingborough – has chosen Newlife Foundation for a £3,000 grant from its charity fund.

Collingwood warehouse manager Tony Ram nominated Newlife because the charity supported the care of his granddaughter Caitlyn-Rose before she passed away last October, aged six. Caitlyn-Rose had a complex condition including cerebral palsy after being deprived of oxygen at birth.

Newlife provided the family with a specialist bed and buggy to help care for her.

Mr Ram said: “Newlife bought us a specialist car seat for Caitlin that we couldn’t get on the NHS – it cost over £1,600! 
“And we have also made use of their equipment loans service, which recycles equipment that other kids are no longer using and gives it to others for free, again saving hundreds of pounds. It’s amazing.

“We very much want to keep Caitlyn-Rose’s memory alive and the family are delighted that Collingwood Lighting has chosen such a worthwhile charity to support.”

Newlife head of operations Stephen Morgan said: “Statutory services in Northamptonshire often have a responsibility to make equipment provision – but when help is declined, Newlife steps in.

“The charity challenges many such decisions and has an impressive success rate. However, where we are unable to overturn these decisions, we provide the equipment ourselves through our range of grant and loan services.

“We do this with the support of front-line health professionals across Northamptonshire who have helped Newlife help local children in real need.”

The Newlife Northamptonshire Fund supports equipment provision for under-19s facing any significant disability, whether acquired through birth defect, prematurity, accident or illness.

The fund’s website www.newlifecharity.co.uk/northamptonshire allows local people to find out who needs help in their county right now and highlight the support the charity gives vulnerable families. It includes contact details for the Newlife County Liaison Team and shows specific ways people can help support children with disability and terminal illness and their families.

Mr Morgan added: “We hope that by launching the Newlife Northamptonshire Fund, children with disabilities or terminal illness in the county won’t have to go without the equipment they need for everyday life.

“The support of businesses like Collingwood Lighting is key to Newlife being able to continue the important work it does with families, not only in Northamptonshire but across the whole of the UK.”