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Can you help give adorable Ava the Christmas present she desperately needs? The Sunshine Fund is fundraising to buy the six-year-old a specialist seat as she was born with a rare genetic condition; The Sunshine Fund is fundraising to buy the six-year-old a specialist seat as she was born with a rare genetic condition.

Byline: Katie Collings

The Sunshine Fund's Christmas appeal may be in full swing but the charity hasn't forgotten all the other children in the region who need help.

It's aiming to raise [pounds sterling]30,000 for Hadrian School inBenwell, Newcastle, to buy specialist playground equipment for pupils with disabilities.

And while staff are throwing their heart and soul into fundraising, they are making sure to continue raising money for the other children waiting for a special Christmas present.

Ava Holden is one of them.

The six-year-old was born with a rare genetic condition and global development delay, meaning it is crucial that Ava's posture is maintained with trunk upright and pelvis neutral which promotes upper limb movements and hand function.

Meet the inspirational women who have been shortlisted for a Sunshine Fund Glass Slipper Award

It is even more important at mealtimes for Ava to be seated correctly as she is at risk of choking on her food if her airway is not clear.

So what Ava needs is a Panda Seat, a specialist chair made to specification that is not funded by the NHS or social services.

The chair ensures her head is rested in a safe position and her feet are secured to protect her hips, knees and ankles. It can even grow with Ava so will benefit her for years to come.

The seat will be life-changing to Ava's family but comes with the hefty price tag of [pounds sterling]3,444.

Full-time mum Jill,of Kingston Park, says the chair will make a "huge difference" to their lives.

"Ava likes to be involved and so we use her chair not only to have meals in but also for play. Ava loves painting, cooking and exploring new things. Her new chair has wheels and an adjustable height feature so can take her with me from room to room," the 37-year-old said.

"The chair will make a huge difference for the rest of the family too as her big brother Oliver, who is 14, can play with her and talk to her at his level rather than having to sit on the floor.

"The chair is going to help us so much, as we like to include Ava in everything we do. So if that's eating as a family at the table to being able to bring her into the kitchen to have a dance while I make the tea it's all possible.

"She's happy and comfortable and that's all that matters to us. We love her very, very much and are so grateful for the help of the Sunshine Fund."

Vicky Pattison supports the Sunshine Fund Appeal - text SFCA17 [pounds sterling]2

Lauren Thompson, community fundraiser for theSunshine Fund, said: "We are thrilled to be supporting Ava and her family especially in time for Christmas.

"In the meantime however we desperately need the North East to support us as we rely on generous donations from the public and local organisations to support children like Ava."

* To donate, contact 0191 201 6090 / or you can send donations via cheque to: The Chronicle Sunshine Fund, Groat Market, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 1ED


Credit: The Sunshine Fund

Ava Holden who needs a specialist Panda seat

Credit: The Sunshine Fund

Ava Holden and her brother Oliver

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Publication:The Chronicle (Newscastle upon Tyne, England)
Date:Dec 9, 2017
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