There are 1.1 Million disabled children in the UK (8% or 1 in 13). Every 10 minutes a parent is told their child is disabled. This is a statistic you simply can’t ignore……and it’s why Freedom for Kids was established. After 15 years of providing children with specialist equipment through my previous company TwinsUK, the demand for our services increases every year and now a dedicated company is required to ensure we focus our efforts and reach out to as many families as we can.
So, what’s the issue? Well, where most children move out of a standard pushchair at 3 years old and walk, disabled children are more likely to move into a specialist mobility buggy or in the absence of this, a wheelchair as they require something that suits older, taller and heavier children. Some children become independent as time goes on and either walk or use a powered wheelchair, but a large proportion will continue to need a parent/carer assisted buggy to transport them around. If a second child comes along, or you care for multiple children with additional needs, then finding larger double pushchairs can be even more challenging. That’s where we can help.
We estimate there are around 100,000 children who would benefit from a specialist mobility buggy or wheelchair. It is generally recognised that numbers based on the available data are likely to be significantly under-estimated given the well documented issues of incomplete records, delayed diagnosis, and simply that children are ‘lost’ in a system that is beyond breaking point.
The NHS simply does not have the necessary resources to be able to assess each child and supply them with the equipment they require for their every day needs. Recent reports provide a glimpse into some startling and worrying facts….
- The NHS supply equipment to only 1 in 10 disabled children
- 89% of children are not on a disability register so are ‘unknown’
- 83% of NHS Services have blanket bans on equipment and prohibitive criteria
- The top 4 UK Charities spend over £6 million a year on children’s mobility equipment
The medical needs and constraints are a prominent feature of everyday life for a parent with a disabled child. Information is not freely available on how to access services and what, if any, suitable mobility equipment is available, so it can be a struggle to find a buggy that meets family and children’s needs. This is where we can help….we have extensive knowledge and experience, having already helped over 1300 families.
The process starts once you call our helpline, email or contact us via our website or though social media channels. We have an initial conversation with a parent or support organisation, and provide information on suitable pushchair options after understanding your specific needs. This is where our experience and product knowledge is important as every family situation and child is different. Quite often we have to be ‘creative’ in our solutions as there are limited mobility products available.
We prepare a quotation, take you though the funding process if financial assistance is required, and help you access funding by providing application forms and contact details of organisations that fund mobility equipment. We carefully match your family to the right organisation to give you the best chance of success. We help you every step of the way so there’s no need to worry, you’re in safe hands.
We know your family simply wants to live a ‘normal’ life, take your children outside and keep them safe from harm. I hear heart-breaking stories every day and am truly passionate about serving the special needs community. Please get in touch if you or a family you know could benefit from our help.
Delyth Raffell, Founder of Freedom for Kids
Helpline 01670 343456