Happy Healthy Safe

“All parents want the best for their children; they love them unconditionally and would never wish for any harm to come to them. Any parent would agree they would want to have a happy, healthy, safe child”

Professor Stephen Singleton, Regional Director of Public Health and Chairman of The Children’s Foundation.

The Children’s Foundation is launching its new ‘Happy, Healthy, Safe’ campaign. Through the campaign, we are asking people to give a regular donation to The Children’s Foundation to help us continue supporting children and young people in North East England.

We are constantly striving to make sure that all children have the basic things in life that they deserve, not only to make their life easier, but also for the families around them. Having Happy, Healthy and Safe children is something that some families don’t have the luxury of.

Professor Stephen commented “Life as a parent is a challenging and tough role in itself, without the added complication of having a child with ADHD or cerebral palsy.  Life for parents of children like this is even more difficult and just doing day to day things that most of us take for granted, like getting out of bed, eating breakfast and getting dressed is a real challenge.

Every little bit helps, even donating something like £3 a month for a year, which breaks down to around 10p a day, can pay for specialised floats to enable four disabled children to start learning to swim, or £5 a month for a year, would pay for three young mums to attend a baby and child life-saving course.”

Signing up to the appeal is quick and easy. You can download a form to fill in and send back to us by clicking the link below, or contact Sally on 0191 282 0897, or sally.jesson@nuth.nhs.uk

Click here to download a form

Michelle and Richard Jeffery, from Kenton, is one family backing the appeal. Their daughter Freya was born with a left sided hernia and stood a 50/50 chance of survival.

Michelle said:

“The first emotion we experienced when Freya was born was, like any new parent, overwhelming joy.  Joy turned to worry and fear when she was taken away to the Special Care Baby Unit to be stabilised for her huge, life saving operation.  Even though we had four months to prepare for this, as Freya was actually diagnosed with a Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH) during my pregnancy, it still hit us very hard.  We both felt very alone, very afraid and totally helpless.  It’s safe to say that life at that time was very, very difficult.

Freya overcame surgery with amazing speed and we brought her home within two weeks, something which is almost unheard of in children born with CDH.  However, her difficult start was not over.  Freya struggled with feeding, weight gain and her motor milestones were delayed.  At around two and a half years old Freya began the slow process of learning to use a walking frame and since then she has never looked back.

It is very difficult to see your child have to work so hard to do something, like walking, that we all take for granted.  It is also very difficult to let go and allow her to wobble or stumble – I just wanted to wrap her in cotton wool. We didn’t know anyone with a child who had any disabilities or have any experience in even being parents so it was a very testing time for us all.

Today, Freya attends full time mainstream school and is just learning to use some walking sticks.  This is incredibly hard work for her as she finds the school day in itself very tiring.  Getting ready and out of the house for school is a big task as Freya needs assistance with toileting, getting dressed and getting up and down the stairs. However, Freya is a very brave, incredibly determined little girl.  She shows courage and bravery every single day of her life and overcomes any obstacles in her way – Freya just gets on with it.  Freya has made so many new friends at school and her frame never gets in the way of anything she does – she even had a soft play and disco party for her birthday!”

Freya attended The Children’s Foundation Stars Awards in 2009, which recognizes the achievements of children with disabilities.

“Events like The Children’s Foundation’s Star Awards really boosted Freya’s confidence and made her, and us, feel very proud of her achievements.  So we are delighted to be supporting the appeal because, without charities like The Children’s Foundation, many local children simply miss out.  Funds raised help children with disabilities and their families to experience activities which may previously have been inaccessible to them.”

Click here to download a form or for more information contact Sally on 0191 282 0897, or email Sally.jesson@nuth.nhs.uk

To find out more about how you can fundraise for The Children’s Foundation, please see our Charity Challenges