Plastic-bag profits help for Jack

Safety First: Charity Newlife has helped Jack and his mum Laura.
Safety First: Charity Newlife has helped Jack and his mum Laura.

The five pence charge for carriers has helped bag a young disabled boy specialist equipment to make his life easier for him and his family.

Pontefract’s Jack Bamforth has benefited from a new initiative by children’s charity Newlife, in which the profits from sales of the regular bags at River Island clothing stores are donated to the cause, including the store in Wakefield.

And the cash has soon mounted up to allow five-year-old Jack to take possession of disability equipment - a specially-made car seat and harness worth more than £738.

Jack has autism and a sensory processing disorder, and because of this has little awareness of danger.

His diagnosis as a toddler left his family upset and seeking information, but ultimately they faced having to adapt to his condition.

The family would often suffer insults in public about Jack’s behaviour.

However, from a safety aspect, car journeys would often become stressful as he could easily undo his safety belt and even the child’s seat.

Mum Laura Bamforth said: “Safety was a real issue, not just for Jack but for everyone else in the car including his little sister Jessie.

“When my mum took him out on her own he would suddenly appear in the passenger seat next to her.

“A special-needs car seat was our only option.

“This has made a massive difference, just knowing he is secure and we don’t have to be constantly watching him.”

Newlife CEO Sheila Brown, OBE, added: “As local authority budget cuts continue to bite, more and more families are turning to charities like Newlife for specialist equipment which can have a significant effect on young lives.

“Having the national support of River Island is an enormous boost for us.”

Newlife has now funded specialist equipment for 450 children in West Yorkshire, at a cost of more than half-a-million-pounds.

The charity is currently working with a further 30 families in the area with equipment needs totalling £15,108.

Mrs Brown added: “Anyone struggling to access equipment through their statutory services should call our Newlife Nurse Helpline, 0800 902 0095 to discuss their individual situation.”