Lancashire Times
A Voice of the North
8:29 PM 3rd December 2020

Family Back Christmas Appeal

Twin brothers who were provided with essential equipment so they could be safely discharged from hospital and with their family for the first time 18 months after being born, are calling on people to donate to double their donation this Christmas so the charity that helped them can be there for future families.

The family of twins Carter and Deacon Farnworth are backing Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children’s Big Give Christmas Challenge appeal, which will give every donation gifted between 1 and 8 December twice the impact.

It comes after Newlife provided Carter and Deacon, from Leigh, near Wigan, with the emergency loan of specialist cots so they could be safely discharged from hospital for the first time since their birth in September 2018 – and now they're getting set to celebrate their first Christmas together as a family.

At just two years old, together they have been through a lot in their short lives after being born prematurely.

They have since been diagnosed with congenital myopathy, a disease which causes the muscles to weaken and go floppy, eventually wasting away. The boys have chronic lung disease and breathing difficulties. Carter has a tracheostomy where a tube is placed into his neck to help him breathe and is ventilated 24/7, and Deacon also needs a ventilator 24/7.

Both of them are also fed through tubes, have delayed development and need round-the-clock care to manage their posture and positioning as they cannot move themselves.

Newlife provided an Emergency Equipment Loan cot in March this year which allowed them to leave hospital so their parents can care for them at home and the boys can have some normality.

Now the family is urging people to dig deep to change another child’s life this Christmas by backing The Big Give – especially as donations will be doubled so the charity can be there to support disabled children like Scarlett in the future.

The charity particularly needs the public’s support after losing more than £3 million in income during the first lockdown – and has now been forced to cancel its Black Friday plans, which last year brought in a whopping £118,000 in a single day.

The fundraising campaign has a target of £6,000 and every penny will be match-funded by The Big Give, meaning if the total is reached Newlife could receive £12,000.

Carter and Deacon’s parents, Melissa Anderton and Dean Farnworth, said:
“The specialist cots from Newlife have allowed us to be one as a family, we don’t know what we would have done without them. Carter and Deacon being able to come out of hospital meant so much, it saved our Christmas.

“The P Pod chairs have been a godsend. Now the twins can move around the house and be included and take part in things altogether as a family, we can all sit together and relax and spend quality time together knowing that Carter and Deacon are comfortable and happy.

“The Big Give campaign is such a great opportunity to help other children like Carter and Deacon get the equipment they so desperately need. Donations are worth double the amount you pledge so any contribution to Newlife’s fundraiser will make twice the impact when helping families in need.”

The twins also needed specialist P Pod chairs to be able to sit and be supported but also comfortable.

Their parents tried to prop them up on the sofa with pillows but this did not support them enough for their respiration or posture. Without these seats they would have to sit in their rigid functional chairs which they found really uncomfortable, or in their specialist buggies.

As a functional seat has already been provided by the local statutory and health services, a second one for comfort cannot be also provided, so Newlife has stepped in to try and provide long-term provision of permanent P Pods through a grant so that when the loan comes to an end the boys will not be without the equipment they need.

Newlife runs the UK’s only Emergency Equipment Loans Service, providing essential equipment to children in crisis anywhere in the UK in just 72 hours, such as those who just can’t wait for the equipment, are at risk of injury, or need the equipment to be discharged from hospital.

The charity currently needs £24,596 in order provide equipment to 35 disabled children across the North West.

Donations to The Big Give campaign will help provide essential equipment to disabled and terminally ill children who are in desperate need of support through the charity’s Emergency Equipment Loan service.

It will help Newlife deliver loan equipment within just 72 hours when there is urgent need as well as approve "fast-track" equipment grant applications within 24 hours when an emergency situation has been identified.

Mrs Sheila Brown OBE, co-founder and CEO of Newlife, said:
“It’s been a really difficult six months for Newlife after the coronavirus forced us to shut all of our shops in March and again in October.

“We lost more than £3 million in income but our promise of supporting disabled children across the UK has not been compromised and we’ve been there for families when they need us most.

“A lot of the disabled children who need our help are at most risk of the effects of Covid-19 and right now they need us more than ever.

“Newlife wants to be there for future families who need specialist equipment and we can’t thank Carter and Deacon and family for backing our Big Give Christmas Challenge this year.

“It’s a fantastic way to make your donation have double the impact and we’re hoping our wonderful supporters will be able to dig deep this year.

“Regardless of the size of the donation, your generosity will be directly changing the lives of disabled children and their families across the UK who are in urgent need of our support.”

Newlife is the leading charity supplier of specialist equipment for disabled and terminally ill children around the UK.

The charity has been providing grants and loans of equipment including specialist beds, seats, buggies and car seats to keep children safe and improve their quality of life for 30 years.

To make a donation to Newlife’s The Big Give fundraiser and give your donation twice the impact head over to between December 1 and 8 or get updates on social media using @newlifestores