Help for little Leeds lads from city fundraisers

Three-year-old Rey Janssens.
Three-year-old Rey Janssens.
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Two little boys have been helped to get the specialist equipment they need to keep them safe by city fundraisers.

Three-year-old Rey Janssens, from Beeston, has Autistic Spectrum Disorder and no awareness of danger. Tall for his age, he outgrew his standard buggy and kept trapping his feet under the footplate and in the wheels. But thanks to fundraisers at the River Island store in White Rose Shopping Centre Rey now has a new buggy.

Rey’s mum, Heather Smith, said she would only go out with Rey when really necessary as using the old buggy became more dangerous but now he is going out far more than before.

Heather said: “He goes out whenever and wherever I go – even if it’s just to the shops. The buggy is brilliant and has come at just the right time, with the bad weather we’re having at the moment.”

The £1,710 raised by River Island staff and customers for Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children has also helped to pay for a specialist bed for five-year-old Dominic Johnson.

Newlife is the UK’s largest charity provider of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness.

In Middleton, Christine Thornton is preparing for delivery of a Tough bed for her grandson, Dominic, who also has Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Driven by the need for sensory feedback and routines, Dominic will bounce on his bed for an hour before he goes to sleep each night.

Christine said: “He has destroyed several beds this way and has gashed his face open doing it. Dominic doesn’t understand risk or danger, so we are having to make our home safe for him.

“Everything we do revolves around his safety, so getting the new bed will make a big difference.”

Rachel Reeves.

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