Specialist equipment provider Jiraffe has made Newlife, the Charity for Disabled Children, its first ever Charity of the Year, with the two organisations working in partnership to improve the lives of children with disabilities.
Sheffield-based Jiraffe is a family business that supplies innovative postural care products across the UK including seating, standing, sleeping, therapy, mobility and bathroom equipment.
Newlife is the largest UK charity providing specialist equipment for disabled and terminally ill children. Many families rely on Newlife where equipment from statutory services is refused or there are delays in provision.
Jiraffe aims to raise £5,000 for Newlife with staff taking part in a programme of activities throughout 2018. These range from in-house raffles and bake sales to innovative volunteering events where team members de-tag clothing donated from high street retailers. This enables Newlife to sell products at their stores throughout the UK, providing vital funds for the charity to support disabled children and their families.
Holly Jenkins, divisional director at Jiraffe, said: “We’re really proud to launch our Charity of the Year partnership with an organisation that is aligned with our vision of providing a better life and brighter future for children with disabilities.
“We are committed to working closely with Newlife to research ways of improving access to equipment and engaging with therapists, carers and healthcare professionals to raise the profile of the issues facing children with disabilities and their families.
“We are looking forward to raising vital funds to support Newlife’s work across the UK.”
Chris Fielding, Newlife’s deputy community fundraising manager, said: “We are delighted to be working with Jiraffe. All funds raised through the partnership will be used to develop the next generation of our Play Therapy Pods, specialist sensory or interactive toys specifically selected by professional play therapists and proven to help children with disabilities develop social, developmental and cognitive behaviours.
“We’re developing the new inflatable Play Therapy Pods that can be inflated into a tent-like structure in under a minute, and include extra visual, audible and tactile features. The pods are easy to pack down into a practical rucksack that can be transported to any indoor environment.
“We have really challenged ourselves to break new ground and think outside the box, or pod, to provide a new, innovative solution to help disabled children have fun and develop through play. At Newlife we firmly believe in the power of play – and its ability to help overcome many barriers.”
Jiraffe is a member of the British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) and contributed to the BHTA’s report Failing Disabled Children across the UK. The report demonstrated how providing the correct specialist equipment to disabled children can provide relief from pain, support their ability to receive appropriate therapy or treatment and, for many, improve their chances of leading fulfilling lives.