NEWLIFE AT THE HEART OF GOVERNMENT
The work of Newlife, the Charity for Disabled Children, was the subject of a Question in the House of Commons on Monday (January 9) involving Cannock Chase MP Amanda Milling and the Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work Penny Mordaunt MP.
Amanda Milling took to the floor of the House to ask what the Government is doing to support the increased number of disabled children in the UK - a 20 per cent rise over the past ten years to nearly one million - particularly in relation to equipment needs.
The Minister replied: "My honourable friend will know from the work that I have done with one of the organisations with which she is involved that we are looking to support charities, social enterprises and businesses that are providing these much needed services."
The Cannock Chase MP is looking to undertake a programme of work in Parliament to ensure the government is doing everything in its power to ensure the needs of disabled children and their families are met.
Amanda Milling said: "I am keen to ensure the needs of disabled children are met, when they often need very specialist equipment which is both expensive and hard to source. Charities like Newlife offer a vital service to these children and their families and can also support local councils and health providers make better use of their equipment. It is essential the Government is prepared to address the increase in numbers of disabled children and bring everyone together to tackle the needs of families across the country.
"I am supporting Newlife because they do a wonderful job assisting disabled children and their families, but the increase in the number of disabled children leads to an increase in demand in the very specialist equipment that they provide. We need the Government to work with local authorities, health providers and charities like Newlife to ensure no disabled child is left without the essential equipment they need."
Newlife has become the largest charity provider of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness in the UK, helping almost 15,000 babies, children and young adults.
Newlife Head of Operations Stephen Morgan said: "We are very grateful to Amanda Milling for her ongoing support. Together we have achieved a great deal in the last 12 months, improving the lives not only of disabled children in the Cannock Chase constituency area but across the whole of the UK.
"Newlife understands that the right equipment at the right time has the power to change lives. Officially recognising the true number of children in need will be the first step towards better planning and provision nationally."
Both Amanda Milling and Penny Mordaunt attended the House of Commons launch of Newlife's 2016 Impact Report last October to mark the charity's 25th year. The online report, which features a series of short films, is available by going to: http://impact.newlifecharity.co.uk/
The Cannock Chase MP also sponsored a Newlife exhibition at the House of Commons last summer. The event - called ‘Breaking the Barriers' - saw dozens of MPs sign up to support Newlife's campaign.
Pictured: Minister Penny Mordaunt with Cannock Chase MP Amanda Milling, left, and Newlife CEO Sheila Brown, right.