A new bed to keep Amelia safe at night

Jennifer Newlands with her six year old daughter Amelia - and son Josh, age 13 and dad Kris. Pic  credit: Fife Photo Agency
Jennifer Newlands with her six year old daughter Amelia - and son Josh, age 13 and dad Kris. Pic credit: Fife Photo Agency

A special Kirkcaldy girl is set to be gifted new equipment to help keep her safe at night thanks to a partnership venture with M&S and a national charity for disabled children.

Six-year-old Amelia Newlands has a rare condition, known as Phelan-McDermid Syndrome (PMS), which means she can’t walk or talk, has a visual impairment, some hearing loss and has no awareness of danger.

Amelia doesn’t sleep well as a result of her condition and her family has tried everything to keep her safe at night in her home in the town’s Dunearn Crescent.

She is too big for a cot so she needs a special bed with high, padded sides so she can’t risk a fall.

To help keep her safely in one place, Amelia’s family have adapted a bunk bed frame, adding clear plastic sides – but she has now learned how to get out of this, putting herself at risk once again.

Local statutory services have said they won’t supply a specialist bed because there is no money in the budget.

So Amelia’s mum Jennifer turned to Newlife, the charity for disabled children for help.

Now Newlife, working in partnership with Marks & Spencer, is providing Amelia with the fully padded, height-adjustable bed she needs at the end of this month.

Jennifer told the Press: “Amelia sleeps in an enclosed bed that my dad made for her at the moment.

“Due to Amelia’s condition she does not always see danger and she kept on falling/bouncing off a normal bed.

“We have also tried a mattress on the floor.

“However, due to her sleep disturbance she takes a long time to go to sleep and so keeping her on the mattress was hard.

“She was also waking up in the night and bunny hopping off into other rooms. She can not kick the doors of her bed with a lot of force, but they vibrate open now so we have had to start tying them closed.

“The new enclosed bed will keep her safe when she is going to sleep.”

She added: “The bed will also prevent her from hurting herself because it is made from old soft materials.”

Ryan O’Donovan, store manager at M&S Kirkcaldy, said: “At M&S we take pride in supporting people within our local communities and the whole Kirkcaldy team is pleased to be able to make a difference to Amelia and her family.”

Newlife is the largest UK charity providing specialist equipment and has supported 95 disabled and terminally ill children in Fife.

Stephen Morgan, Newlife head of charity operations, added: “It’s an outrage that families have to ‘battle’ local services and still face heart-breaking refusals. The support of organisations like M&S means we can change lives across the UK every day.”