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Children with cerebral palsy get a better chance to overcome

Cerebral Palsy Alliance project makes world-class early intervention equipment available to Hunter and Central Coast families.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017 

Toddlers and children with cerebral palsy who live throughout the Hunter and Central Coast will be whizzing their way to improved physical development, after a $66,300 grant for early intervention equipment.

The Cerebral Palsy Alliance used the grant to purchase new ‘Wizzybug’ motorised wheelchairs and baby treadmills for each of its locations at Tuggerah, Croudace Bay and East Maitland, to enhance early intervention programs for babies and young children with cerebral palsy. 

Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation Chairman Phil Neat said the new equipment would improve long-term outcomes for more than 300 children with cerebral palsy.

"Cerebral palsy is the most common physical disability in childhood, affecting a child’s movement and development, and we’re proud to support this initiative which can change hundreds of lives in our region through early intervention therapy," he said.

"One of the Foundation’s key aims is to provide access to services which improve the life outcomes of people living with disadvantage. This project makes world-class early intervention equipment available to local families, allowing their child the opportunity to overcome the disability at the youngest possible age."

"We know that children with cerebral palsy have the best chance of improving their movement and development for the long-term if provided with early intervention."

Cerebral Palsy Alliance Tuggerah Site Manager Anne Daly

Two members from Cerebral Palsy Alliance receiving a cheque from Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation.

Cerebral Palsy Alliance Tuggerah Site Manager, Anne Daly said the grant would provide one Wizzybug and two baby treadmills to each location for use in early intervention physical therapy programs.

"We know that children with cerebral palsy have the best chance of improving their movement and development for the long-term if provided with early intervention. Early childhood is the optimal neuroplastic window for intensive brain and motor skill development," Anne said. 

"This new equipment will allow us to provide children, who attend our Central Coast and Hunter support centres, with the best chance to optimise their movement. We’re grateful that Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation made this life changing initiative possible."

Wizzybug motorised wheelchairs provide the correct postural support for children under five with severe cerebral palsy to make the most of their limited movement and develop spatial awareness, exploration, social interaction and independence, in a fun and engaging design.

Baby Treadmills, for children with mild to moderate cerebral palsy aged 8 to 18 months, can improve gross motor function and bring forward the age for independent walking. 

The Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation distributes more than $1.5 million in grants each year to facilitate charitable projects that address disadvantage in local communities throughout the Hunter, Central West, Central Coast, New England, Mid North Coast and Northern Rivers regions of NSW. Since its establishment in 2003, the Foundation has provided more than $16.7 million to over 400 community initiatives.


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