Why we back the Newlife Fife fund

Michael with his dad, also Michael Douglas, and mum Tamsyn Mallett who are backing the Newlife  Fife Fund. Pic: FPA
Michael with his dad, also Michael Douglas, and mum Tamsyn Mallett who are backing the Newlife Fife Fund. Pic: FPA
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The family of a Glenrothes boy is backing the launch of an appeal to provide specialist equipment for children with disabilities in the Kingdom.

Michael Douglas (4) has Autistic Spectrum Disorder; he is hyperactive, likes to climb and jump and has no awareness of danger.

His mum, Tamsyn Mallett, explained: “We needed a safe environment for Michael – it was paramount for his physical safety as well as his emotional wellbeing.

“His autism has not allowed him to be able to tell us what he needs; as a result he gets frustrated and can become quite physical.

“When he has a meltdown he harms himself by throwing himself around into walls and the floor. He has no awareness of danger and doesn’t feel pain like the same way we do.

“The only safe area we had for him was his bedroom which had been stripped of everything apart from a mattress so there was nothing for him to harm himself on – but that still left the walls and floor. It was horrifying for us at times because it looked as if he had nothing.”

The SafeSpace made a difference almost overnight, not least by reducing Michael’s injuries

Tamsyn Mallett

Michael needed a piece of equipment called a SafeSpace which is, essentially, a room within a room. Statutory services couldn’t help so Tamsyn turned to Newlife.

Tamsyn added: “The SafeSpace made a difference almost overnight, not least by reducing Michael’s injuries. The overall benefit that it has given him emotionally is that he seems more relaxed.”

She is so grateful that she is urging people to help change the lives of other local children as the disability charity Newlife Foundation is launching the Newlife Fife Fund.

It’s a chance for local people to help local disabled children with every penny donated staying in Fife.

Support through grants & loans show there is a real need ...

Newlife has already helped 58 children in Fife through equipment grants and loans totalling more than £131,085, so the charity knows there is a very real need for a specific county fund.

Statutory services in Fife 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 the decisions are not overturned, the charity provides the equipment through its range of grant and loan services. It is done with the support of front-line health professionals across Fife who have helped Newlife help local children in real need.

To find out more visit www.newlifecharity.co.uk/fife