Michelle Petticrew and son Daniel (15 months) from Cliftonville in North Belfast have received a life changing boost from the Energy for Children Charitable Trust, having successfully been awarded funding for new sensory equipment to aid Daniel’s learning and development.
Daniel has complex medical needs and severe visual impairment. A difficult start in life saw Daniel suffer four strokes in the womb and a brain haemorrhage which severely damaged the left side of his brain, causing a number of cysts to grow. Despite the odds and medical prognosis, Daniel was born safely and is thriving.
Mum Michelle explains, “Daniel is such a happy and content little boy and he continues to amaze us every day with his progress. Whilst Daniel is doing well and continuing to meet his own developmental milestones, I was advised by a family support worker from Sense NI that Daniel would benefit from sensory equipment, particularly for his visual impairment. By introducing sensory equipment and visual stimulation at a very early age, Daniel would have a better chance of overcoming this.”
“After being declined for funding four times from a different charity, I was really disappointed that Daniel would miss out on this vital equipment which could potentially change his future. Our family support worker, Orlagh Curran, continued to help us and found the Energy for Children Charitable Trust. I couldn’t believe it when I heard after a few weeks that we had been accepted and the sensory equipment was delivered a couple of weeks after that.”
“Since Daniel has been using the equipment, I can see him improving more and more every day. His favourite piece is the rope light which he just loves to chew on and it has been fantastic for helping his vision and concentration. The difference that this equipment has made already in such a short space of time is staggering and I can’t thank Energy for Children enough for their support!”
Charity Liaison Officer, Geri Wright said, “I’m delighted to see how much of a difference this sensory equipment has made to Daniel’s life. Early intervention with specialist sensory equipment is key for young children with visual impairment to improve their learning and development and I am delighted that this funding has come at a time when it is most needed.”
“This is exactly why the Charity exists, to help local children like Daniel who are most in need. I’m thrilled to see for myself that for Daniel, his future is very bright,” added Geri.
Energy for Children is an initiative of Phoenix Natural Gas and the wider natural gas industry. The Charity was established in 2005 to provide financial support to groups and individuals that may slip through the net of the wider charity network.
Founded on the principle that „all monies raised go directly to local children and young people‟, the Trust aims to reach deeper into the heart of local communities throughout Greater Belfast and beyond in order to really make a difference to disadvantaged children’s lives. Since its formation, the trust has helped over 9,000 local children and every month continues to help those who need it most. For more information on the Energy for Children Charitable Trust, visit www.phoenixnaturalgas.com/about-us/phoenix-group/corporate-responsibility