Disabled children charity Newlife helps buy new hoist to help eight-year-old Isabella Alford, from Thetford, get in and out of her wheelchair

Isabella Alford, from Thetford, who has Tay Sach's diease, has been helped by the charity Newlife, which helped buy a new portable hoist to help her get in and out of her wheelchair. Picture: NEWLIFE

Isabella Alford, from Thetford, who has Tay Sach's diease, has been helped by the charity Newlife, which helped buy a new portable hoist to help her get in and out of her wheelchair. Picture: NEWLIFE


A girl with a rare genetic disorder has been given a new portable hoist by a charity to help her get in and out of her wheelchair.

Trips to see family and friends – and even holidays – will now be much easier for Isabella Alford, who has Tay Sach’s disease, a rare genetic disorder that causes progressive damage to the nervous system and affects mobility.

The family of the eight-year-old already has a ceiling track hoist to use in their Thetford home.

However previously trips out could not be for more than a couple of hours, because Isabella would need to be hoisted out of her wheelchair for going to the bathroom.

Now Isabella can go out for the day – and even stay overnight with her great aunts and uncle in Devon – thanks to provision of a portable hoist by Newlife, a charity for disabled children.

Isabella’s mum Deborah Alford said: “The hoist has made a big difference.

“Whereas before we had to plan routes out around suitable changing facilities, now we have the hoist we can go almost anywhere.

“It is an integral part of our days out and has helped us take Isabella further afield to stay with friends and family.”

The donation was made possible with support from fundraisers at Central England Co-operative.

Newlife – the UK’s largest charity provider of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness – has been Central England Co-operative’s staff-elected charity since 2012, receiving £1.3m from in-store and personal fundraising activities.

More than 600 children have been helped.

Angela McCall, manager at Central England Co-operative’s Travel Shop in King Street, Thetford, said: “Central England Co-operative takes fundraising to help local communities very seriously.

“We are committed to making a positive impact in the local areas in which we trade. Working with Newlife has provided a great opportunity for us to help make life easier for youngsters like Isabella.”

Newlife has supported 163 children in the Norfolk, with equipment totalling £191,598.

The charity is working with another four families in the county with equipment needs totalling £1,515.

Visit or call the Newlife County Liaison Team on 01543 431444 to find out how you can help. Alternatively email


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