M6toll Support Local Child with funding towards New Wheelchair

Staff from Midland Expressway Ltd (MEL) paid a very special visit to a local Staffordshire youngster after providing funding towards a life changing wheelchair.

MEL donated £1,000 to Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children following their appeal for help in raising funds for Declan Copeland, a local boy from Biddulph in Stoke on Trent.

Declan aged 15, has Angleman Syndrome, a genetic disorder affecting the nervous system. As a result he also has epilepsy and development delay which requires him to use a wheelchair to get around the family home. Declan was previously using an old, heavy wheelchair which required assistance from Mum, Sarah Singh to help Declan around, however since receiving his new self-propelling wheelchair Declan is now able to navigate around the family home independently.

Mum Sarah Singh said: “This wheelchair is absolutely fantastic and Declan loves it. He loves having the independence to decide to wheel himself over to take a closer look at something or just grab what he wants. He can get into the fridge now and help himself, which is something he couldn’t do before, so I’m ending up with cheese and burst yoghurts everywhere - but I don’t mind a bit, I love it that he has the independence to do that now! I can’t thank the M6toll and everyone else who has donated towards this enough. There is no way an average family like us could ever have come up with the funds for this”.

Sheena Hawkins, MEL social committee member added: “It was an absolute pleasure to meet Declan and his family. Declan has a fantastic personality and a great sense of humour, it was so great to witness the massive difference this wheelchair has made to him giving him the freedom to discover a whole new world.

There are around one million disabled and terminally ill children in the UK. Thousands of them rely on Newlife to get the equipment they need, equipment that has often been refused by the statutory services or the delays in provision mean that the child will suffer unnecessarily. Newlife runs the only fast track equipment services in the UK helping those children in urgent need.

Newlife has helped 1,023 families in Staffordshire but they need the support of local people and businesses to help them support a further 29 families in the county who need equipment right now, meaning they need to find funds of around £44,861.

Newlife’s Head of Charity Operations Stephen Morgan says: “We are very happy we could give Declan the wheelchair he needs, but this was only made possible through the generous donations of Midland Expressway Ltd (MEL) and others. Without help like this many disabled and terminally ill children will sadly go without the essential equipment they need, as we simply don’t have the funds to support every child who needs our help.”

More information about Newlife – The Charity for Disabled Children can be found here: www.newlifecharity.co.uk/staffordshire   

MEL’s donation forms part of a wider initiative to support local schools and community projects. MEL's Social Committee work closely with members of staff to choose those community projects close to their hearts which will benefit from a donation from the Drive for Charity fund.

MEL's Social Committee is always on the lookout for local charities and community projects to support. To register your charity or community project with MEL for consideration to receive fundraising or practical (volunteering) support now or in the future visit www.m6toll.co.uk for further information or email d4c@m6toll.co.uk

IMAGE (Left to right back to front): Sarah Singh; Declan’s Mum, Sheena Hawkins (MEL’s Social Committee member, Ellen Toal from Newlife, Declan and his Stepdad, Paul