The benefits of Newlife specialist equipment on higher education

Going into further education is supposed to be an exhilarating time. But, for some disabled students it can be daunting. Now, Newlife are providing an equipment grant for disabled children and young people to further their prospects. One student shares his journey.

Sam Morton lives with a form of cerebral palsy, which impacts mobility in all his limbs, despite this Sam was determined to achieve his degree. Working towards a qualification in English and Scriptwriting at Winchester University, after Sam’s powered wheelchair broke his dreams were put on hold.

During Sam’s second year, the power wheelchair he had since the age of 13 broke. When the NHS refused to fund Sam’s specialist powered wheelchair he turned to Newlife.


Newlife is the UK’s leading charity provider of specialist equipment. The dedicated team ensured Sam didn’t miss out on his dreams of becoming a scriptwriter; providing the lions’ share of funding for the specialist hi-tech wheelchair he required. 

This meant Sam could complete his English and Scriptwriting course and ensure his continued independence – what every student truly strives for. 

“Every young person has the right to reach their potential regardless of diagnosis or disability,” explains, Carrick Brown, senior manager for Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children.

“And yet we see young people like Sam up and down the country being denied equipment that will enhance their lives because it’s not considered ‘essential’.”


Having found and tested a replacement wheelchair, which had the power and performance to navigate the hilly and cobbled campus at Sam’s campus, Sam has been given the chance to achieve his goals.

Sam said: “There is a baseline need for compassion and care that charities like Newlife fulfil. They help give every child and young person the right to a future and the right to live a happy life.

“Wheelchair services offer you something that isn’t fit for your needs – the equipment originally offered wouldn’t enable me to be at university and live independently – and then when you say ‘no’ you are made to feel a burden and ungrateful. Which is why Newlife has made such a big difference.”

He added: “Now I have the wheelchair, I can finally cook for myself in the kitchen, which is something I would never have imagined myself doing – ever. I can get to things on the higher shelves in shops, access bookshelves in the university library and get around the campus and town without worrying about the chair breaking down or having to rely on other people.”

To find out more information about the grants available from Newlife, visit their website here.

Empowering and Supporting Families

As the UK’s leading charity providing support and specialist equipment to disabled children and young adults, Newlife receives thousands of calls each year to its National Nurse Helpline from families struggling to understand what services and support are available, what they’re entitled to and how to access it. 

In order to empower and support families Newlife has put together a series of helpful guides to help ease some of the distress and difficulties families face when it comes to understanding what’s available and how to apply, to ensure they’re able to access the support and services they’re entitled to.    

Staycation Guide

Newlife’s Nurses routinely receive helpline calls about the challenges parents face when trying to prioritise quality family time while also being expected to become an expert on their child’s health.  Our Staycation guide provides practical guidance and information of how to access and loan specialist disability equipment while holidaying around the UK.  

Download here.

House to Home

We know how stressful it can be for any family needing to adapt their home to meet the needs of a disabled child or young person, which is why we’ve put together this helpful guide to support families with information and guidance on where to start, and what’s involved. 

Download here.

Social Care Revealed

Families are often put off involving social services because of the stigma attached to child protection.  However social services have a much wider role in making sure that the full needs of a disabled child or young person and their family are met. 

We’ve therefore put together this helpful guide to provide information on the sort of services available and how to get them.

Download here.

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