‘Freedom’ fund for Zoe

Zoe Robinson
Zoe Robinson
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A Sheffield girl with Cerebral Palsy has been given a new lease of life - with the donation of a hi-tech wheelchair.

Five-year-old Zoe Robinson, of Crookes, could previously only move around with the help of an adult - whether at home or at school with her friends in the playground - as she didn’t have the strength to propel her old manual wheelchair.

Thanks to the new £6218 powered wheelchair, donated by Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children, working in partnership with Marks and Spencer - Zoe can now move around on her own.

Zoe’s mum Sarah Kettlewell said: “Zoe is now at school and wants to be like all the other children; she wants to be able to keep up with the friends she is making. But the social dynamics change completely when there is always a teacher or parent around to push the wheelchair. It has been a massive concern to me that she will be able to integrate academically and socially into the school because life can be very isolating for children like Zoe.

“When Zoe first trialled the powered wheelchair, the look of joy on her face was wonderful to see. The fact that mummy was on the other side of the room and she was able to move where she wanted to go was a real boost for her. I began to realise how much potential a hi-tech wheelchair could unlock in Zoe.”

M&S has worked in partnership with Newlife since 2006, donating returned products and clothing samples that cannot be sold, to be resold by the charity. In October 2010, M&S launched a grants scheme, which specifically helps fund essential equipment for disabled children in the UK. The scheme has helped provide more than £279,000 of equipment for 310 under-19s in South Yorkshire.