Lillie has four-limb Cerebral Palsy with global developmental delay and severe  learning difficulties. She is non-verbal, doubly incontinent and has no sense of danger or safety awareness. She needs adult supervision at all times during waking hours.

Although doctors predicted that she would never be able to even sit up by herself, Lillie is now able to walk and she continues to surpass expectations. As mum Gemma says, “She’s just incredible really.”

Lillie’s family got in touch with Variety when her safety sleeper bed broke beyond repair. This is a vital piece of equipment for Lillie and her family as it stops her from getting out of bed and wandering in the night, which could lead to her causing herself serious harm.

When her previous bed broke, Lillie’s family knew that she would need a replacement in order for her to stay safe in the night. It is not possible for her to be in a standard bed without being closed in. The new Variety-funded safety sleeper has more than met the family’s expectations. The much larger size means that Lillie is happy and comfortable at night, while the sturdy frame has prevented any more breakages – a frequent problem with Lillie’s old bed and a source of continual and added stress and anxiety on the family.

Not only does this new safety sleeper make bedtime calmer and more comfortable for Lillie, it also helps Gemma and John with their morning routine.

Unlike the previous bed, this one is made of material that can be washed down, meaning Lillie’s parents can clean up quickly and easily in the morning if there has been any mess during the night. This has made a difference beyond expectations as they can ensure complete cleanliness of the bed and Lillie’s surroundings without having to take large parts of the old bed apart. This was a great strain when coupled with the continual and constant tasks that have to be carried out for Lillie during the day, which can be overwhelming at times.

Lillie enjoying her new safety sleeper

Gemma said, “It has impacted in the most amazing way in that it’s taken that element of stress away from us as a family because there’s so many things we have to do with Lillie in a morning to get her ready for school and to ensure she is ready for when her transport arrives to take her to school. It means that it’s just taken a level of anxiety away from us when we already have quite a stressful life.

“So I would say it has massively helped. I would say it’s helped like 85% really. The other percent is stuff that we can’t control: how she is and the things that she does and the way this impacts on our every day, but the bed has just helped us so much.

“Also, Lillie seems happier in it as well: she is visibly happier in it. When we go into her room in the morning, she’s always full of smiles and happy.

“It goes without saying how immensely grateful we are to the charity for helping us get this because we really wouldn’t have been able to ourselves. The expenses of raising a disabled child are huge and we have to have many things and make subsequent adaptions to make all elements of our home safe for our child. So the fact that we were able to get this bed and the help we received was incredible really, so we just want to say a massive thank you to anyone that has assisted in us getting it.

“People do not realise, but it’s people like you and charities that really do make such a difference. It is incredible.”